Recent blog posts
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.19 with editor Monica Roberts, Lerone and David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.12 with Linus Spiller, Patti and Lerone
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.05 with Patti, Lerone & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.29 with Wesley Davidson, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, JUne 1, 2016
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.22 with Jay Narey, Lerone, Patt & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.15 with Leslie McMurray and Katie Sprinkle, Lerone, Patt & David Ta Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.08 with Erin Moore, Patt & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.01 with Candy Marcum, Patti, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, May 1, 2016
Second Baltimore Officer in Freddie Gray Death Cleared of Depraved-Heart Murder & Rough Ride Charges
A second police officer in Baltimore has been acquitted on all charges for his role in the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injuries last year after he was arrested and transported in a police van. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the van, faced the most serious charges of all officers involved, including second-degree depraved-heart murder and three additional charges of manslaughter. Prosecutors contended Goodson gave Gray a "rough ride," failed to ensure his safety, and should have called for a medic. We get reaction from Doug Colbert, professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law, director of the Access to Justice pretrial clinic and founder of the Lawyers at Bail Project, as well as Joshua Harris, Baltimore’s Green Party candidate for mayor.
SCOTUS Ruling on Race-Conscious College Admissions a Great Victory for Equal Educational Opportunity
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Fisher v. University of Texas and held that the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions program is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. "It is simply not true that we could eliminate the box and somehow act as if we are adequately evaluating students," says Thomas Saenz, lawyer with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of over 20 national Latino advocacy groups supporting the race-conscious admissions program. "The fact is that race and gender and national origin still matter," he adds, because they shape one’s opportunities and experiences, and therefore one’s potential in higher education.
Undocumented Mother & U.S. Citizen Daughter Call on Obama to Stop Deportations Despite SCOTUS Ruling
As a split Supreme Court blocks President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, which would have shielded millions of immigrants with U.S. citizen or permanent resident children from deportation, we speak with an undocumented activist, Maru Mora Villalpando, and her daughter, Josefina Mora, who is a U.S. citizen. "Those who are undocumented have to take this disappointment" from the ruling "and turn it into anger" to push Obama to stop deportations and to try again to reform immigration policy.
In a major setback for the immigrant rights movement, a divided Supreme Court has blocked President Obama’s plan to shield as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. On Thursday, the court returned a 4-4 ruling, leaving in place a lower court decision that Obama had overstepped his authority. The case concerned Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, which would have shielded millions of immigrants with U.S. citizen or permanent resident children from deportation. It also affects Obama’s attempt to expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which since 2012 has protected immigrants brought to the United States as children. The ruling is likely to further amplify the role of immigration in the 2016 presidential election. We speak with Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, who was one of four attorneys to argue the immigration case before the Supreme Court.
Britain has stunned the world by voting to leave the European Union, putting an end to a 43-year relationship. British Prime Minister David Cameron led the campaign to "remain" in the union, and responded to the vote by announcing he would resign by October. The so-called Brexit vote passed by 52 percent, and the United Kingdom will now become the first major country to leave the bloc of 27 nations. European Union President Martin Schulz called on the remaining member states to enter discussions to help protect the eurozone and the pound. We go to London to get reaction and examine the country’s next steps with guests on both sides of the vote: Joseph Choonara, member of the Socialist Workers Party and spokesperson for Lexit, the Left Leave campaign, and Alex Scrivener, policy officer at Global Justice Now who campaigned with Another Europe is Possible, the left campaign for Britain to remain in the EU.
- Britain Stuns World by Voting to Leave the European Union
- Split Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Immigration Plan
- Supreme Court Upholds Race-Conscious Affirmative Action
- Bernie Sanders: "Never, Ever Lose Your Sense of Outrage"
- Business Leaders Line Up to Endorse Hillary Clinton
- Protester Disrupts Trump Speech with Swastika-Painted Golf Balls
- Fired Trump Campaign Manager Lewandowski Hired by CNN
- Judge Rules Cleveland RNC Restrictions Unconstitutional
- Cleveland: FBI & DHS Knocking on Activists' Doors Ahead of RNC
- Democrats End 25-Hour Sit-in Without a Vote on Gun Control
- Baltimore: 2nd Police Officer Acquitted in Death of Freddie Gray
- Report: Chicago Spent $210 Million on Police Lawsuits from 2012-2015
- Plane Completes First Solar-Powered Flight over Atlantic
One of the world’s longest conflicts appears to be nearing an end after more than 50 years of fighting. Today, Colombian government officials and FARC rebels are gathering in Havana, Cuba, to announce a historic ceasefire nearly four years in the making.The breakthrough deal reportedly includes terms on an armistice, the handing over of weapons, and the security of insurgents who give up their arms. The conflict in Colombia began in 1964 and has claimed some 220,000 lives. More than 5 million people are estimated to have been displaced. Later today, President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC commander Timoleón Jiménez—known as Timochenko—will formally announce the terms of the ceasefire at a ceremony in Havana. We speak to Colombia’s former High Commissioner for Peace Daniel García-Peña and author Mario Murillo.
Relatives of victims of gun violence gathered in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to push for new gun legislation. Relatives included Uma Loganathan. Her father, Professor G.V. Loganathan, was shot and killed on April 16, 2007, in the Virginia Tech massacre. He was teaching advanced hydrology to 14 students at the time of the shooting. Nine of his students were also killed. Uma is now a volunteer fellow at Everytown for Gun Safety’s Survivor Network. She joins us from Washington.
On Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers are continuing a historic sit-in on the floor of the House to demand the Republican leadership take action on gun control after the Orlando massacre left 49 people dead. We are joined now by Democratic Congressmember Alan Grayson of Florida, whose district includes Orlando. He is drafting an assault weapons ban bill in the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub.
Democrats taking part in the House sit-in are pushing for votes to expand background checks for gun purchases and to curb the sale of weapons to people on government watchlists—a proposal strongly opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, among other groups. We speak to Congressmember Barbara Lee (D-California) and Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Capitol Hill Democratic lawmakers are continuing a historic sit-in on the floor of the House to demand the Republican leadership take action on gun control after the Orlando massacre left 49 people dead. The sit-in was initiated by Congressmember John Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement. Once he launched the sit-in, the Republican leadership ended the session—forcing CSPAN to stop broadcasting from the floor, as the House controls the cameras. But lawmakers began live-streaming the sit-in on Periscope and Facebook. We go to the live scene from the House floor, hear Congressmember Lewis and speak to Congressmember Barbara Lee (D-California).
- Democrats Continue Sit-in on Floor Demanding Gun Control Vote
- British Voters Head to Polls for Brexit Referendum
- G.H.W. Bush National Security Adviser Backs Hillary Clinton
- Colombian Government and FARC to Sign Historic Ceasefire
- Report: Demand for Abortion in Latin America Soars Amid Zika Virus
- State Department Faces Questioning over U.S. Military Aid to Honduras
- NYC: Hundreds Protest Mexican Police Killing of Oaxaca Teachers
- Two Mexican Journalists Killed This Week
- Senate Rejects Legislation to Expand FBI Surveillance Powers
- California Moves to Change Sentencing Law After Stanford Rape Case
- New York: Montrose 9 Activists Plead Necessity Defense
- Michigan AG Sues Private Water Giant Veolia over Flint Water Crisis
In a major victory for environmentalists, California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. On Tuesday, one of the state’s largest utilities agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025. California is the world’s sixth largest economy, and it was among the first states to embrace nuclear energy in the 1950s. Diablo Canyon began operating in 1985 and stirred controversy from the start. For years, anti-nuclear activists called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. We speak to Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth. The organization has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.
We turn now to look at Thomas Mair, the British man who killed British parliamentarian Jo Cox last week. Mair reportedly yelled out "Britain First" during the attack—a reference to the far-right, anti-immigrant political party of the same name which is pushing for Britain to leave the EU in tomorrow’s Brexit referendum. In court on Friday, Mair gave his name as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain." Cox was a vocal advocate for Britain to remain in the European Union. More information is coming to light about Mair’s ties to neo-Nazi groups in the United States and Britain. Meanwhile, a former paid FBI informant named Todd Blodgett has revealed he met Thomas Mair at a neo-Nazi gathering that the informant set up in London in 2000. Joining us now is Todd Blodgett, who once worked with several leaders of the far right, including Willis Carto, who founded the Liberty Lobby, and William Pierce, leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance.
In a major economic address in Ohio on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton warned the election of Donald Trump would be disastrous for the U.S. economy and result in what she dubbed a "Trump recession." "He’s written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11. Go figure," Clinton said. But Hillary Clinton’s economic policies are still facing criticism from her own party. Last week in an address to supporters, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told supporters he planned to go to the Democratic convention next month in Philadelphia to push the party in a more progressive direction. We speak to Thomas Frank, author of the new book, "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?"
- GOP Senator Introduces Bipartisan Gun Control Bill
- 20 Arrested for Blocking NRA Driveway to Call for Assault Weapons Ban
- New Jersey: 3 Arrested with Cache of Weapons Near Holland Tunnel
- Man Who Says He was Omar Mateen's Lover Claims Orlando Massacre was "Revenge"
- Loretta Lynch to LGBT Community: "Your Country Stands with You in the Light"
- Clinton: Donald Trump Would Be "Dangerous" to U.S. Economy
- Trump Accuses Clinton of Raising "Blood Money"
- Wildfires Fueled by Record Heat Rage in Arizona, California
- Soldier: Berta Cáceres Appeared on Hit List of U.S.-Trained Honduran Military Unit
- Report: 185 Environmentalists Killed in 2015, the Deadliest Year on Record
- Israeli Soldiers Say They Killed a 15-Year-Old Palestinian Boy by Mistake
- No U.S. Charges for Officers Who Fired 17 Shots, Killing Antonio Zambrano-Montes
- Turkey: Press Freedom Groups Call for Release of Journalists
- Husband of Slain British MP Jo Cox: She Worried About "Atmosphere of Hatred"
- Lawsuit Accuses Louisiana Judge of Running Modern-Day Debtors' Prison
- FAA Releases New Rules on Commercial Drone Use
- Ireland: Pro-Choice Activists Fly "Abortion Drone" to Northern Ireland
"The Battle Has Just Started": Activists Denounce Police Killings & Crackdowns on Teachers in Oaxaca
In the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, a deadly police crackdown against teachers has left nine people dead and more than 100 wounded. On Sunday, police descended on teachers in the community of Nochixtlán, where they had set up blockades to protest against neoliberal education reform and the arrests of two teachers’ union leaders last week on what protesters say are trumped-up charges. "As soon as they arrived, they began to attack. And we were few, very few," said a Oaxacan teacher. "Then we started running. But they began to attack right away, instantly. At no time did they give warning to clear the area." We go to Oaxaca to speak with Gustavo Esteva, founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca and author of many books, including "New Forms of Revolution."
Click here to watch Part 2 of our conversation.
Oakland is facing a major police scandal in which multiple Oakland police officers are facing allegations of statutory rape and human trafficking after allegedly having sex with an underage girl who was working as a sex worker. Three police chiefs have resigned in recent days. The Associated Press reports that of the 14 Oakland police officers involved in the sex crime scandal, two have resigned and three others are on paid leave. On Friday afternoon, protesters demonstrated outside the Oakland Police Department headquarters, wrapping red "danger" tape outside the department and posting "Megan’s Law" warnings to alert the community that there are statutory rapists in their vicinity. We speak to Cat Brooks, an Oakland-based Black Lives Matter activist and co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project. Brooks helped organize Friday’s protest against the Oakland Police Department.
In Oakland, California, a third police chief has resigned in just over a week amid a massive scandal in which multiple Oakland police officers are facing allegations of statutory rape and human trafficking after allegedly having sex with an underage girl who was working as a sex worker. On Friday, interim Police Chief Paul Figueroa resigned from his post for undisclosed reasons after just two days on the job. His predecessor, Ben Fairow, lasted just six days on the job. The string of resignations began when Police Chief Sean Whent resigned on June 9. On Friday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced she would not appoint another acting chief, instead putting the Oakland Police Department under civilian control. We speak to two reporters who helped break the Oakland Police Department sex crimes story. Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston are journalists with the East Bay Express.