Author Archive

TN: Nashville passes marijuana decriminalization measure

September 21, 2016
posted by

The Tennessean    

"Nashville’s Metro Council made history Tuesday by approving the city’s first measure to allow lesser civil penalties for people caught with small amounts of marijuana, but it may set the stage for a confrontation with the state. Meanwhile, some Nashville judges are now raising concerns that moving minor marijuana possession cases from criminal to civil court may give people fewer options to later erase those encounters from the public record. The council voted 35-3 to give final approval of legislation that will give Nashville police the option of reducing the penalty for people who are found in knowing possession of a half-ounce of marijuana or less to a $50 fine or 10 hours of community service. Councilman Dave Rosenberg, lead sponsor of the bill, told his colleagues that efforts aimed at marijuana decriminalization have become commonplace across the country. He reeled off a long list of cities and states as examples, noting that even the conservative Deep South state of Mississippi has a law on the books. 'All this bill does is give police the option of not treating someone with a little pot like a hardened criminal,' Rosenberg said. 'Because when you start treating good members of our society like criminals they begin acting like criminals.' 'As much as as I'd like to think we're cutting edge on this one, we're not,' he added. 'We're catching up.' Memphis is scheduled to take up a similar ordinance in two weeks." [editor's note: I never thought I'd be able to say it proudly, but, "That's my Councilman!" - SAT] (09/20/16)

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2016/09/20/nashville-passes-marijuana-decriminalization-measure/90739806  

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In first presidential debate, three’s a crowd

September 21, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (the former GOP governors of New Mexico and Massachusetts who now head the Libertarian Party ticket) should embrace their failure to qualify for the first debate. Commission on Presidential Debates set the bar too high for third-party candidates to own a podium at Hofstra University on Sept. 26: To qualify, nominees had to be constitutionally eligible to serve, appear on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College and show at least 15 percent support in five national polls. With 8.4 percent support in polls selected by the panel, Johnson didn't make the cut. The Johnson-Weld campaign has posted an online petition that calls on the debate panel to let the Libertarians debate. With more than 875,000 online signatures, the campaign likely will meet its goal of 1 million. I think that's the wrong tactic." [editor's note: As usual, she has a point here - SAT] (09/20/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/09/20/in-first-presidential-debate-threes-a-crowd-n2220824  

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$178 million: One fighter plane, or 3,358 years of college

September 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Van Buren  

"Does free college threaten our all-volunteer military? That is what Benjamin Luxenberg, on the military blog War on the Rocks says. But the real question goes beyond Luxenberg's practical query, striking deep into who we are and what we will be as a nation. Unlike nearly every other developed country, which offer free or low cost higher education (Germany, Sweden and others are completely free; Korea's flagship Seoul National University runs about $12,000 a year, around the same as Oxford), in America you need money to go to college. Harvard charges $63,000 a year for tuition, room, board and fees, a quarter of a million dollars for a degree. Even a good state school will charge $22,000 for in-state tuition, room and board. Right now there are only a handful of paths to higher education in America: have well-to-do parents; be low-income and smart to qualify for financial aid, take on crippling debt, or ... Join the military." (09/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-college-debt-defense-commentary-idUSKCN11Q1GE  

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UK: Blair sees “chaos” if US elects “isolationist” president

September 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday predicted chaos if the United States elected an isolationist president, likening the withdrawal of America from world affairs to a soccer match without a referee. Asked how he would advise Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, should he win the Nov. 8 election, Blair stopped short of labeling Trump an isolationist. But he pointedly praised Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, once the United States' top diplomat, and said the world needed U.S. leadership and democratic values. 'If you turn away from what is happening in the world when those values are being undermined, you don't fulfill your destiny as a country,' Blair said in response to a question at a Reuters Newsmaker event, adding: 'You have been given this destiny as a country. No one else can do this in the world today.'" [editor's note: Trump is clearly not an "isolationist;" he's as pro-intervention as Hillary is - SAT] (09/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-blair-newyork-idUSKCN11Q2BZ  

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Interview/discussion: Tilting at windmills

September 21, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Michael Hutchins & Rebecca Leber  

"[Our fossil fuel addiction poses a grave threat to biodiversity: flooding coastlines, acidifying oceans, severe droughts and other effects of climate change are threatening already hard-pressed habitats. In this context, climate activists have embraced wind and solar power, which are less controversial than other alternative energy sources such as nuclear, biofuels and dams. But wildlife advocates have urged caution. ... To discuss how to think about wind and solar’s environmental impacts in the age of climate change, In These Times brought together Michael Hutchins, director of American Bird Conservancy’s Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign, and Rebecca Leber, a climate journalist who has worked for Grist, The New Republic and ThinkProgress.]" (09/19/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19451/wind-turbines-kill-hundreds-of-thousands-of-birds-annuallyis-it-worth-the-c  

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US general: North Korea “will” develop nuclear capabilities to hit America

September 21, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The U.S. general expected to take over the military's nuclear forces had a sobering assessment of North Korea's capabilities, telling Senate lawmakers on Tuesday that the rogue nation 'will' build up the capabilities to hit the United States. 'What concerns me most is: They will get there. They're gonna get there. And then once they have those capabilities, what are they going to do with them? That's my biggest concern,' Gen. John Hyten, commander of the Air Force Space Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Hyten has been nominated to lead U.S. Strategic Command. His comments after North Korean state media reported the dictator Kim Jong Un oversaw a ground test of a new rocket engine and ordered a satellite launch preparation, an indication the country might soon conduct a prohibited long-range rocket launch." (09/20/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/09/20/north-korea-says-successfully-ground-tests-new-rocket-engine.html  

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West Virginia investigating Mylan over EpiPen pricing

September 21, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The state of West Virginia is investigating whether Mylan NV violated antitrust law or defrauded the state’s Medicaid program in connection with its EpiPen device. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey disclosed the investigation on Tuesday, announcing he had petitioned a state court to order Mylan turn over documents related to EpiPen in response to a subpoena his office issued in August. He said the company missed a September 7 deadline to comply with the subpoena. Mylan, which has raised the U.S. price for a pack of two EpiPens from less than $100 when it acquired the product in 2007 to more than $600, also faces scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over the EpiPen. A Mylan spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment." (09/20/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/west-virginia-investigating-mylan-over-epipen-pricing  

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Colorado legalization a success, voters say

September 20, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"As California closes in on its November 8 vote on cannabis legalization, Coloradoans report legalization is working just fine there. A new poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project and conducted by Public Policy Polling, finds that 51 percent of Coloradoans would oppose efforts to repeal legalization. Just 36 percent support repeal, and 13 percent weren’t sure, according to reports. Colorado legalization Amendment 64 passed 54.8 to 45.1 in 2012, and recreational sales started January 1, 2014. Today, 47 percent of Coloradoans say legal cannabis has been good for the state, while 39 percent say it’s been bad. Nine percent said it had no impact and six percent weren’t sure. Sixty-one percent of Colorado residents say legal pot has boosted the state’s economy, while only one in five voters said it hurt business. The polls comport with other recent studies showing Colorado does not want to go back to pot prohibition." (09/20/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/09/20/colorado-legalization-a-success-voters-say  

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Us and them: A tale of two electorates

September 20, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Arthur Goldhammer  

"The United States will elect a new president in November. France will do the same early next year. In both countries, the political Establishment is under assault from outsiders: Donald Trump in the U.S., Marine Le Pen in France. Both candidates have mastered a belligerent rhetoric combining bluster, innuendo, racism, xenophobia, and ridicule or slander of opponents with a carefully calibrated faux frankness intended to bolster their claims to reveal truths that other politicians have allegedly conspired to conceal. Despite high negative ratings, both Trump and Le Pen have also exceeded all expectations, exposed deep rifts in their respective electorates, and struck fear into political, economic, and intellectual elites who, despite evidence of growing voter alienation over a period of many years, could never quite bring themselves to imagine the depth of resentment their monopoly of acceptable political discourse inspired. Notwithstanding these similarities, there are also substantial differences between the two countries." (09/19/16)

http://prospect.org/article/us-and-them-tale-two-electorates  

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Nader: Calling third party candidate a spoiler is same as saying “shut up”

September 20, 2016
posted by

TruthDig    

"People from outside the major parties who are pursuing elected office are exercising their First Amendment rights, and calling them spoilers is an act of 'political bigotry' that should never be tolerated by the American people, civil rights champion and four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader told 'Democracy Now!' Nader’s comments come one week before the 2016 nominees' first presidential debate, which the Commission on Presidential Debates (a private corporation owned and controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties) announced Friday will exclude both Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. 'If we had proportional representation, instant runoff voting, all this spoiler stuff wouldn’t be around,' Nader continued." (09/19/16)

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/ralph_nader_calling_a_third-party_candidate_20160919  

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Why Edward Snowden deserves clemency

September 20, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Rem Rieder  

"Well, this is certainly something you don't see all the time: A major newspaper calling for the criminal prosecution of one of its all-time all-star sources. Yet here was The Washington Post, coming out forcefully in an editorial over the weekend against a pardon for former NSA contractor and leaker to the stars Edward Snowden. Instead, it wants to see one of Moscow's best-known residents in a U.S. courtroom. 'Ideally, Mr. Snowden would come home and hash out all of this before a jury of his peers,' the Post said of the man who brought the newspaper a coveted Pulitzer. As a consolation prize, the Post would settle for a plea bargain in which Snowden 'accepts a measure of criminal responsibility for his excesses and the U.S. government offers a measure of leniency in recognition of his contributions.' Definitely an odd way of saying thanks." [editor's note: He deserves a medal, but clemency is a start - SAT] (09/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/rieder/2016/09/19/rieder-why-edward-snowden-deserves-clemency/90688838  

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North Dakota’s pipeline protest is about climate justice

September 20, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Kyle Powys Whyte  

"Over the past months, hundreds of indigenous persons and their allies have gathered near the crossing of the Missouri and Cannon Ball rivers in the ancestral territories of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Using nonviolent means, their goal is to stop the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that would connect production fields in North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. Their primary fear is that an oil leak would threaten water quality for many members of the tribal community. On Sept. 9, a federal judge denied the tribe’s request for an injunction to halt completion of the pipeline. But shortly after, federal officials said they would temporarily stop construction pending further review. As a scholar of indigenous studies and environmental justice, I’ve been following these developments closely." [editor's note: It begins, however, as a property-rights and clean-water battle; "climate justice" is a secondary aspect - SAT] (09/19/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/136919/north-dakotas-pipeline-protest-climate-justice  

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US election 2016: George HW Bush “to vote for Clinton”

September 20, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"US Republican ex-President George HW Bush will vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in November, US news website Politico reports. Mr Bush allegedly made the pledge to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, niece to US ex-President John F Kennedy. The former president's office has not confirmed the report, with a spokesman saying he was checking. Mr Bush, who held office from 1989 until 1993, has not endorsed Republican candidate Donald Trump. If George HW Bush is indeed backing Hillary Clinton for president, that puts four of the five living presidents in the former secretary of state's camp. George W Bush is the lone holdout -- at least for now." [editor's note: Perfect opportunity for that vote-balancing group, since Barbara has already announced her opposition to Hillary - SAT] (09/20/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37416721  

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Trump tries to run against himself

September 20, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Jason Sattler  

"Donald Trump has found a candidate he thinks he can defeat in November: Donald Trump. 'Our vision of hope stands in stark contrast to my opponent's campaign of hate,' the GOP's nominee for president said at a recent rally in North Carolina, without pausing to see whether anyone would laugh. 'Hillary Clinton has been running a hate-filled and negative campaign with no policy, no solutions and no new ideas. By contrast, I've been going around the country offering detailed plans for reform. All of these reform plans are available on our website.' Call this tactic: 'I know you are but now I'm not.'" (09/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/16/trump-clinton-negatives-projection-lolgop-jason-sattler/90419118  

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The once and future Trump

September 20, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"The Republican Party was torn asunder by a populist media personality running a nationalist campaign based on immigration restriction, protectionism, and an anti-internationalist foreign policy. Initially dismissed as a bigoted crank, this upstart presidential candidate managed to humiliate the GOP establishment, led by the Bush family. This is not just a description of the 2016 elections. It also happened in 1992. Unlike Donald Trump, Pat Buchanan didn't win the nomination, but his protest candidacy garnered more than two million votes and intensified fractures in the party that led to defeat in the general election. Buchanan's candidacy provides a crucial context for understanding not just the roots of Trumpism, but also its likely future -- even, or especially, if Trump loses to Hillary Clinton in November." (09/19/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/136837/future-trump  

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“Snowden”: How the movie could help win a pardon for the man

September 20, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by James Bamford  

"The days leading up to last Friday’s release of director Oliver Stone’s Snowden looked like one long movie trailer. The American Civil Liberties Union and other human-right groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to win a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of its highly classified documents to journalists. The next day, the House Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan letter to the president that advised him against any pardon and claimed Snowden 'caused tremendous damage to national security.' The week before, Stone had invited me to a private screening of his movie in Washington. I once worked in an NSA facility, and I’ve written about the agency for decades, so I was surprised and pleased by how successful Stone was in creating an accurate picture of life in the NSA. He did a remarkable job of capturing the sense of how rare, difficult and risky it is for anyone in the agency to challenge the ethics and legality of its operations." (09/19/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-intelligence-nsa-snowden-commenta-idUSKCN11P0AP  

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CA: Major newspapers endorsr Proposition 64 cannabis initiative

September 20, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Two of California’s most reputable news publications believe that it’s due time to legalize marijuana. Both the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle have recently written editorials endorsing Proposition 64, California’s ballot initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational purposes. The Chronicle acknowledges America’s failed drug war as a reason to legalize: 'As with the era of alcohol Prohibition until its repeal in 1933, criminal enterprises have exploited the outlawing of a popular product. In the case of cannabis, Prohibition also has wreaked significant environmental damage from clandestine operations that divert water from streams, use chemicals and otherwise tamper with the ecosystem away from regulators’ scrutiny.' Meanwhile, the Times says that states like California need to take legalization into their own hands due to the federal government’s ineffectiveness in reclassifying marijuana." (09/19/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/09/19/californias-major-newspapers-support-marijuana-legalization-by-endorsing-prop-64  

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FL: Miami’s Wynwood district declared free of Zika virus

September 20, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The Miami district which saw the first locally transmitted Zika cases in the US has been declared free of the virus. In the past 45 days, no transmissions have occurred in Miami's trendy Wynwood neighourhood, Florida's governor said at a news conference in the city. Authorities credit an aggressive campaign of aerial and ground insecticide spraying. But the virus has spread elsewhere in Florida. Five new cases were recorded on Friday in nearby Miami Beach. Miami Beach has trebled the area under advisory, now 4.5 square miles (11.7 sq km)." (09/19/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37410114  

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Where are the issues?

September 20, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"You know those TV segments where they go out and ask regular Americans things like 'Who is the Vice President?' and 'Should we allow immigration from New Mexico?,' and the people-on-the-street give answers like, 'What’s a Vice President?' and 'I think we should send all the Muslims back to New Mexico!' Apparently the people working in America’s 'news' media would do even worse if forced to answer similar questions. America’s news media used to cover actual news and felt a responsibility to provide information to citizens in a democracy. Now, they don’t. Journalism professionals once took pride in explaining complicated issues to the public, digging out corporate fraud, creating informative documentaries and helping prepare people to make informed decisions in our elections. But like so much else in our country, our news media has been corporatized. The citizens journalism used to serve are now seen as nothing more than consumers to sell things to." [editor's note: Once again, by excluding the only candidate who is speaking about issues, this Mr. Johnson remains part of the problem - SAT] (09/19/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160919/213955  

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NC: Charlotte not budging on ordinance that spurred statewide bathroom law

September 19, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, refused on Monday to back off an ordinance that had aimed to expand anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people in the state's largest city but also sparked a controversial state law. The Republican leaders of North Carolina's legislature said in a statement late on Sunday they believed their colleagues would support repealing the law that voided the city ordinance -- if Charlotte made the first move. North Carolina's Republican governor and lawmakers blame Charlotte for spurring the state measure, which has drawn rebuke from major companies and sports organizations since it was passed in March. The state law, known as House Bill 2, requires transgender people to use publicly owned bathrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate and bars local ordinances protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination." (09/19/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-carolina-lgbt-idUSKCN11P26D  

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The presidential campaign has descended into madness

September 19, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"My friends, we have fallen down the rabbit hole. This presidential campaign has completely departed from ordinary reality, into a place where there's no such thing as truth and accountability is a joke -- at least for some. I wish I could tell you with confidence that it all will work out in the end, that the electorate will be wise and thoughtful, that we'll only shake our heads and chuckle when we think back on 2016. But I'm no longer so sure. This is the sequence of events we witnessed over the last few days. On Friday, Donald Trump held an event at which he finally gave up the malignant crusade he has been on for the last five years to convince people that President Obama was not born in the United States." [editor's note: Anyone who analyzes this solely from how Killary and Drumpf are interacting fully deserves to descend into madness; bye, Paul! - SAT] (09/19/16)

http://prospect.org/article/presidential-campaign-has-descended-madness  

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Clinton accuses Trump of helping Islamic State recruit more fighters

September 19, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday accused Republican rival Donald Trump of helping Islamic State militants recruit more fighters as weekend bomb blasts in New York and New Jersey took center stage on the campaign trail. Both Clinton and Trump tried to use the attacks to flex their national security credentials, with world leaders gathering in security-heightened New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly. Speaking to reporters in White Plains, New York, Clinton urged Americans to remain calm but vigilant. In a statement, Trump’s campaign accused the White House of playing down the threat posed by Islamic State. The campaigns weighed in after the weekend of bomb incidents and multiple stabbings in central Minnesota as the Nov. 8 election loomed closer." [editor's note: Hillary playing mirror-games again? - SAT] (09/19/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/clinton-accuses-trump-of-helping-islamic-state-recruit-more-fighters  

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Nazi-era time capsule unearthed in Poland

September 19, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A time capsule buried by Nazis has finally revealed its secrets, and the items inside are said to be in great condition. The copper cylinder was unearthed earlier this month in Zlocieniec, Poland, and then later opened at the National Museum in Szczecin. Inside the tube were newspapers from April of 1934, coins, parchment, photographs of Adolf Hitler and even two copies of his treatise, Mein Kampf, according to reports about the discovery. The website for the town’s city hall has posted articles in Polish about how they excavated the time capsule (which reportedly involved coping with old explosives) and then how they opened the vessel at the museum and discovered what was inside of it." (09/19/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/09/19/nazi-era-time-capsule-unearthed-in-poland.html  

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RV industry fires couple over anti-Trump picture book

September 19, 2016
posted by

Aol News    

"A husband and wife were fired from their jobs just one day after starting a Kickstarter campaign for their satirical picture book, D is for Dump Trump. Brad and Amy Herzog's book contains 26 poems about GOP nominee Donald Trump in alphabetical order, detailing the 'dangers of a demagogue running for president.' The couple were working as traveling spokespeople for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. The RV industry is notoriously conservative, so the book didn't sit particularly well with some consumers." (09/19/16)

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/09/19/couple-fired-over-anti-trump-picture-book/21474310  

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The execution that birthed a movement

September 19, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Jen Marlowe & Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor  

"Jordan Taylor remembers precisely when Troy Davis was executed. It was 11:08 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2011, less than an hour before Taylor's 18th birthday. 'I had never heard his name before,' says Taylor, who says he nonetheless attended a rally fellow students at SUNY New Paltz organized for a death row inmate they told him was innocent. On the threshold of adulthood, Taylor's eyes were opened: The execution of a Black man by the state of Georgia was connected to Black America's overall subjugation. 'This new understanding of what it was to be a young, Black male washed over me,' he says. Five months later, when Trayvon Martin was killed by vigilante George Zimmerman, Taylor helped organize his campus's response." (09/17/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/occupy-five-years-troy-davis-black-lives-matter.html  

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