Tuesday, September 27, 2011

George Junius Stinney Jr., Youngest Person Executed in U. S

George Stinney, 1944, executed at age 14 years oldImage via Wikipedia

One June 16th, 1944, the United States executed a 14 year old boy. His name was George Junius Stinney Jr.
There is good reason to believe Stinney’s confession was coerced, and that his execution was just another injustice blacks suffered in Southern courtrooms in the first half of the 1900s.

More from SC crusaders look to right Jim Crow justice wrongs, by Jeffrey Collins for The Associated Press (Jan. 18, 2010):
The sheriff at the time said Stinney admitted to the killings, but there is only his word — no written record of the confession has been found. A lawyer with the case figures threats of mob violence and not being able to see his parents rattled the seventh-grader.
Attorney Steve McKenzie said he has even heard one account that says detectives offered the boy ice cream once they were done.

Friday, September 16, 2011

President Obama Signs Major Patent Law Change

President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a major overhaul of the U.S. patent system, a measure designed to ease the way for inventors to bring their products to market. "We can't afford to drag our feet any longer," the president said.
Passed in a rare display of congressional bipartisanship, the America Invents Act is the first significant change in patent law since 1952. It has been hailed as a milestone that would spur innovation and create jobs.
The law aims to streamline the patent process and reduce costly legal battles. It was backed by companies including Google and Apple as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Small-scale inventors are divided on the legislation, with some arguing that it gives an advantage to big corporations.
Obama was joined at the signing ceremony by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, the two main sponsors of the legislation.
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FLOTUS Moves Country Toward Healthy Eats

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a Let’s Move! event in a Darden’s restaurant in Hyattsville, Md., Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011

Calorie by calorie, first lady Michelle Obama is chipping away at big portions and unhealthy food in an effort to help America slim down.
In the year and a half since she announced her campaign to curb childhood obesity, Mrs. Obama has stood alongside Wal-Mart, Olive Garden and many other food companies as they have announced improvements to their recipes -- fewer calories, less sodium, better children's menus.

Barbara Jordan Stamp Issued

Former U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas now has her own postage stamp. It's the 34th in the post office's Black Heritage series.

Jordan served three terms in Congress and in 1976 was the first woman and the first African-American to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic national convention. She described Americans as "a people in search of a national community" and said Americans were attempting to create a society "in which all of us are equal."

The new forever stamp was issued in Jordan's hometown of Houston and is on sale nationwide. She is also one of a small number of former members of Congress from Texas to be honored with a stamp of her own, following Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Medal of Honor Marine Has Beer with President Obama

President Obama awarded Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer, 23, the Medal of Honor on Thursday, the highest award given to members of the armed services. He’s just the third living veteran to receive the award for service in Afghanistan or Iraq and the first living Marine to be honored since 1973.

When White House staff contacted him to arrange the ceremony, Meyer asked if he could have a beer with Obama, and the president invited him to the White House on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jay Carney said. After Carney tweeted a photo of Meyer and the President having a beer on the patio outside the Oval Office, some naysayers did not approve, calling the meeting a "photo-op". I say "so what".  The Marine asked and the Presient obliged.  End of that story!

The real story, the bravery of Corp. Meyer, should not be forgotten. Meyer saved the lives of three dozen U.S. and Afghan comrades during an hours-long battle with the Taliban in 2009. Meyer personally killed at least eight insurgents despite taking shrapnel to his arm.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2093409,00.html#ixzz1Y8UECVUF

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Forbes Highest Paid Entertainers-Men

Recently Forbes announced its list of Entertainment's Highest Paid Men. Mentally, pick five men that you are sure would be on this list.  Here's a few hints: only one actor..well maybe two, depending how you look at it.  There's only one sports' figure, one writer, and one radio personality. Look out for surprises! Here we go.

Leila Lopes of Angola Crowned Miss Universe

Newly crowned Miss Universe Leila Lopes hopes her victory will allow her to assist her native Angola further escape its history of war and impoverishment and said she plans to focus on combatting HIV around the globe. Lopes is Angola's first winner. She beat out 88 other competitors to win the title during the 60th anniversary of the world's biggest beauty pageant. She replaces last year's winner, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.

The first runner-up was 23-year-old Olesia Stefanko of Ukraine and the second runner-up was Priscila Machado of Brazil. The third was Miss Philippines and the fourth Miss China. Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, from California, failed to end a long losing spell for the U.S. in the competition. An American has not been named Miss Universe since Brook Lee won the title in 1997.

Contestants spent the past three weeks in Sao Paulo, trying to learn samba dance steps, visiting impoverished children and kicking a football around for cameras as the Miss Universe pageant came to Brazil for the first time.

She deftly handled the interview question that is asked of the remaining top five contestants. She was questioned about what physical trait she would change if she could.

"Thank God I'm very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn't change a thing," Lopes said. "I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life."

U. S. Poverty Rate Swells to 1 in 6 Americans

The ranks of U.S. poor swelled to nearly 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment woes left millions of Americans struggling and out of work. The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million, the biggest in over two decades.
The Census Bureau's annual report released Tuesday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2010, when joblessness hovered above 9 percent for a second year. It comes at a politically sensitive time for President Barack Obama, who has acknowledged in the midst of his re-election fight that the unemployment rate could persist at high levels through next year.
The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent, or 46.2 million, up from 14.3 percent in 2009.
Reflecting the lingering impact of the recession, the U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s, when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment.
Measured by total numbers, the 46 million now living in poverty is the largest on record dating back to when the census began tracking poverty in 1959. Based on percentages, it tied the poverty level in 1993 and was the highest since 1983.

AZ Charges Families to Visit Prison Inmates

Arizona State Prison
Arizona is now charging adults who visit any facility that houses state prisoners a $25 fee. The one-time “background check fee” is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
Prisoner advocates say the fee will be too steep for the family members of inmates, who in many cases travel long distances to remote areas where many of the prisons are located, the New York Times reports.
The $25 background check fee took effect July 20, but it doesn’t actually go towards paying for a background check. Instead, the money is deposited in the Department of Correction’s Building Renewal Fund.
Wendy Baldo, chief of staff for the Arizona Senate, confirmed to the Times that the fees were intended to help make up the $1.6 billion deficit the state faced at the beginning of the year.
“We were trying to cut the budget and think of ways that could help get some services for the Department of Corrections,” Baldo said. She added that the department “needed about $150 million in building renewal and maintenance and prior to this year, it just wasn’t getting done and it wasn’t a safe environment for the people who were in prison and certainly for the people who worked there.”
There are already reports of the background check system not working as planned. A woman who had UPS confirmation of her 4-applications a $100 check being delivered had to send another $100 before her applications were processed — months after she began the application process.
“I have now spent $200 of my own money to get family in,” the woman said, adding that it could take up to 60 days for the department to approve the applications.

Article by Jorge Rivas-Color Lines Blog

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Woman in Fake-address Case Grateful to Ohio Governor

An Ohio woman who was jailed for using her father's address to enroll her children in a neighboring school district says she's grateful for her break from the governor.
Kelley Williams-Bolar told Cleveland's WJW-TV on Thursday she can live her life and be a productive citizen now that she's no longer a convicted felon.

Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday reduced the Akron woman's records tampering counts to misdemeanors. He said the original penalty was too harsh.

Williams-Bolar says she knows that what she did wasn't right, but she was looking out for her daughters.

She served nine days in jail earlier this year for falsifying information on records to send her daughters to the suburban Copley-Fairlawn schools. She has said the girls' safety was her main concern.