Monthly Archives: August 2015

N.J. Sen. Cory Booker: No Testing for Oil in Atlantic

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker on Friday asked the U.S. government to reject applications for seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean, the first step toward allowing drilling for oil off the coast. In a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Booker said the applications did not address the impact such activities… Continue reading N.J. Sen. Cory Booker: No Testing for Oil in Atlantic

(Video) O’Malley Blasts Democratic Leaders for ‘Rigged’ 2016 Debate Process.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Gives O’Malley Cold Shoulder After He Bashes DNC. O’Malley: DNC’s Lack of Debates Is ‘Frankly Political Malpractice’


Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley chastised the Democratic Party leadership on Friday, blasting the party for what he called a “rigged” debate process in the presidential nominating contest and demanding it sanction additional debates.

O’Malley, who has struggled to gain traction in the polls this summer, used his appearance before the Democratic National Committee meeting to angrily denounce the party’s rules that he argued were a disadvantage to all the candidates and a disservice to Democrats. Considering the length of this election cycle it is clear more debates would allow for all the candidates to clearly define their differences and allow the people to have a better look on who to support. Watch the full video of O’Malley’s speech here:

“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” O’Malley said. He added, “We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic party.”

Despite public objections from O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who have called for more debates, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has sanctioned six debates, only four before next February’s Iowa caucuses.

O’Malley, speaking from the DNC dais with Wasserman-Schultz sitting a few feet to his left, slammed what he called a “cynical move to delay or limit our own party debates.”

“Who’s decree is this exactly? Where did it come from? To what end or purpose?” O’Malley asked. He added, “We put our forward-thinking ideas on the back-burner as if we’re trying to hide them from the airwaves.”

Martin O'Malley and Deborah Wasserman Schultz exchange an awkward handshake at Democratic Party Summer Meeting in Minneapolis
Martin O’Malley and Deborah Wasserman Schultz exchange an awkward handshake at Democratic Party Summer Meeting in Minneapolis

O’Malley made no reference to the Democratic front-runner, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, but it was clear in his remarks that he believes fewer debates make it more difficult for him and other challengers to defeat Clinton for the nomination.

O’Malley argued that with Donald Trump and other Republican candidates making headlines with inflammatory rhetoric, Democrats should hold more, not fewer, debates.

“Will we let the circus run unchallenged on every channel while we cower in shadows under a decree of silence in the ranks? Or will we demand equal time to showcase our ideas?” O’Malley asked. He added, “Silence and complacency in the face of hate is not an honorable option for the Democratic Party.”

DNC spokeswoman Holly Shulman, responding to O’Malley’s remarks, said in a statement: “We are thrilled the candidates are so eager to participate in our debates. We believe that six debates will give plenty of opportunity for the candidates to be seen side-by-side. I’m sure there will be lots of other forums for the candidates to make their case to voters, and that they will make the most out of every opportunity.”

Hillary Clinton a ‘Liar,’ Donald Trump a ‘Blowhard,’ Jeb Bush a ‘Bush’: Poll Plays Word Association Games With 2016 Candidates

Pollsters from Quinnipiac University played word association games with American voters, and they didn’t have much nice to say about 2016 presidential nominees Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or Jeb Bush.

Voters were asked to relate “the first word that comes to mind when” they think of Clinton, Trump and Bush as part of a new Quinnipiac national poll released Thursday morning. Words that were mentioned less than five times were not tallied.

Among the 1,563 voters polled over the course of five days, it would appear that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has an image problem with honesty. Of those asked, 178 said “liar” was the first word that came to mind. “Dishonest” was the second most common word association, with 123 responses. “Untrustworthy” came in third with 93 responses. Rounding out the top 10 were “experience,” “strong,” “Bill,” “woman,” “smart,” “crook” and “untruthful.”

Voters think Trump, the leading Republican contender, is “arrogant” (58 responses), a “blowhard” (38 responses) and an “idiot” (35 responses). Rounding out Trump’s top 10 were “businessman,” “clown,” “honest,” “ego,” “money,” “outspoken” and “crazy.” (“Asshole” ranked 14th.)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s most memorable trait appears to be his last name. “Bush” was his most common word association, with 138 responses, almost exactly twice as many as the next most common word, “family.” Rounding out Bush’s top 10 were “weak,” “brother,” “dynasty,” “experience,” “George,” “Florida” and “politician.”

More broadly, the pollsters found Clinton leading the Democratic field, with 45 percent of likely Democratic voters, and Trump leading the Republican field, with 28 percent of likely Republican voters. However, Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump by a wider margin than Clinton does, even though he has not announced he’s running, the pollsters found.

August 27, 2015
Taylor Wofford
Displayed with permission from Newsweek

America Needs Worker Co-Ops More Than Ever

America is no longer a representative democracya fact underscored by decades of grotesque and steadily worsening economic inequality and an election process that depends more on wealthy donors than on an informed electorate.

Case in point: the middle class has been shrinking for decades and is now in the process of disappearing altogether. Since 1979, 90 percent of the economically-challenged have lost money each year, while the wealthiest 10 percent have posted huge gains, according to Forbes (and any reputable economist). The American dream is all but dead for the vast majority of us, with 1% of the population controlling 43% of the nation’s wealth.

Self-determination in the workplace could be one of the keys we need to empower and grow the working class in our nation and re-igniting the American dream. And worker-owned cooperatives could be the match that lights that flame.

The average annual income of the top 1 percent of Americans is $717,000, while the average income of the rest of us is $51,000 annually. That 1 percent of the population has a net worth that averages around 70 times the net worth of the other 99 percent of us. Americans used to believe that anyone could become part of the wealthy 1 percent simply by working harder and longer (some misguided souls still believe this in the year 2015). Increasingly, most realize that notion is no longer a reality in the United States of America.

The unequal distribution of wealth is at the core of many of our Nation’s social issues. We cannot survive as a democratic union if the majority of our citizens have become disenfranchised and disengaged from society. With more people voting for American Idols than American Presidents these days, it looks like we’re already headed down that road, our dreams of upward mobility and class-equality out the window along the way.

America was meant to be a land of endless possibilities and self-determination. This country was established to give religious and economic freedom to its citizenry. Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, and other signers of the Declaration of Independence knew their proclamations would mean very little without economic freedom. Money is and always has been a major part of the “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that was promised to Americans. Worker-owned companies can fulfil that promise.

Rather than waiting for wealth to “trickle down” to 99 percent of our citizens, we need to generate greater income for everyone willing to work reasonable hours to attain it. This can be accomplished through worker ownership. When companies are run by the people that work there, wealth is automatically re-distributed to those that earn it. Worker-owned companies have an incentive to succeed in the long-term rather than just profit in the short-term, as the business model of today demands. And this is just the time to do it, too; the middle class seems to be rallying slightly, with foreclosures in 2014 hitting the lowest levels since 2006, despite some horror stories from certain parts of the country. It’s time to harness the momentum of our economy’s modest but encouraging growth and help the middle class rise to their potential.COOP 2

Even Ronald Reagan, renowned conservative and hero to the Republican right, believed in the power of worker-owned companies. In 1987 Reagan said:

“I can’t help but believe that in the future we will see in the United States and throughout the Western world an increasing trend toward the next logical step, employee ownership. It is a path that befits a free people.”

When short-term return on investment is a business’s only goal, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, which is exactly what’s been happening in America for half a century. The business model of 2015 calls for wealthy investors to become even wealthier by buying successful companies, pillaging their assets, and promptly closing them to realize huge profits. This is bad for workers, bad for communities, and it contributes to economic inequality by concentrating wealth in the hands of just a few. In America today, you can’t borrow money unless you don’t need it and you can’t make money if you don’t have it to invest. It’s the very worst example of a Catch-22, and we’ve decided to let it dictate how our economy and government operate.

So maybe it’s time to take a look at the alternative.

Worker co-ops are businesses that are owned and operated by the people who work there, and they’re an important step in bridging the gap between the rich and poor in the America of today. Rather than squeezing a business dry to benefit a few wealthy investors, worker-owned businesses benefit the many by focusing on long-term growth and stability, in the same way that real estate investors position themselves to realize growth long-term. The workers/owners are invested in the local community where they work and live and are financially rewarded when the business succeeds and survives. That is good for workers and businesses and it benefits Main Street over Wall Street.

Last year Senator Bernie Sanders wrote “An Agenda for America” that included a proposal for worker cooperatives to increase job creation and productivity. “Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations which ship our jobs to China,” Sanders proposes to instead “provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives.” This is an idea that could change the world for 99 percent of America’s population and one that Bernie Sanders hopes to sell to American voters in 2015.

Distribution of wealth must be addressed for our nation to survive the future. Worker-owned cooperatives are an important step in healing the great economic divide that is killing America. Most companies today pay their CEO more than 300 times what they pay their workers. This disparity lays the foundation for economic inequality. The Worker Cooperative business model calls for executives to be paid no more than 3-6 times what the workers are paid, paving the way for a fairer and more level playing field for the American working class. This is the road to survival for America and economic freedom for its citizens.

The future is already looking brighter with politicians like Sanders calling for change and building grassroots movements to wrest the economy out of the hands of the wealthiest 1 percent and back into the hands of working Americans. In addition, the United States Federation of Worker’s Cooperatives was established to empower our nation’s workers, offering guidance in creating democratic worker-ownership. The USFWC hopes to advance worker-owned and governed businesses through advocacy, development, and education with the goal of bettering the lives of working Americans. They represent over 100 worker-owned businesses and could even help you and your co-workers affect change where you work and live.

With national elections looming, it’s time for Americans to address the future and embrace a much needed change to the American business model. And make no mistake; this is a moral issue, plain and simple, wherein the central question is this: “Is it okay that our economy is rigged to benefit just a tiny few?” Excuses like “Life isn’t fair” and “That’s just the way it’s always been” will continue to ring false until we address these issues in responsible ways.

As Legal Marijuana Spreads, States Struggle with Drugged Driving

August 21, 2015
Sarah Breitenbach
Displayed with permission from Tribune Content Agency

Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mark Crandall half-jokingly said he can tell a driver is under the influence of marijuana during a traffic stop when the motorist becomes overly familiar and is calling him “dude.”

The truth in the joke, Crandall said, is that attitude and speech patterns can be effective markers for drugged driving. And, according to legalization advocates and some in law enforcement, they can be more reliable than blood tests that measure THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.

When it comes time to go to court, the testimony of an officer trained as a drug recognition expert is often more valuable than a THC test because of disparities in how the drug affects driving ability, Crandall said.

“Here’s the really bad driving that I saw, here’s the magnified impairment that I saw on the side of the road,” he said. “It’s telling a good story and making sure that it’s backed up with facts, and evidence, and proof, and the ability of the officer to articulate it well.”

As more states make medical and recreational marijuana use legal, they increasingly grapple with what constitutes DUID �� driving under the influence of drugs �� and how to detect and prosecute it. They’re finding it more difficult than identifying and convicting drunk drivers.

While marijuana is the substance, other than alcohol, most frequently found in drivers involved in car accidents, the rate at which it causes crashes is unclear.DUID 2

At least 17 states, including Washington, have “per se” laws, which make it illegal to have certain levels of THC in one’s body while operating a vehicle, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Under those laws, no additional evidence is required to prove that a driver is impaired.

Of those states, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington allow for some amount of THC to be found in a driver’s blood, ranging from 1 to 5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Other states leave no wiggle room and consider any amount of THC to be impairing and grounds for being charged with DUID.

In Colorado, where recreational marijuana became legal in 2012, drivers are assumed to be under the influence of marijuana if they have THC levels of 5 ng/ml or higher, but the law also lets defendants produce evidence that they were not impaired.

Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Oregon and Washington allow adult recreational use of marijuana, and 18 other states permit its use for medical purposes. More states are expected to permit recreational marijuana use as legalization efforts move to the ballot in Ohio this fall and Nevada in 2016.

At a recent NCSL meeting in Seattle, nearly all policymakers who attended a session on legalizing marijuana said they expected their states would soon have to debate legalization, if they haven’t already. A study by the Pew Research Center released in April found that 53 percent of adults supported the legal use of marijuana. (Pew funds Stateline).

State lawmakers, conditioned by the universal system of rating blood alcohol content to determine intoxication, have long wanted similar measurements to gauge a driver’s impairment under the influence of THC. But that has proven elusive.

Unlike alcohol consumption, which creates impairments that are measurable by blood alcohol content, the consumption of marijuana creates physical effects that vary from person to person and THC levels can depend on how cannabis is ingested and whether the person is a long-term marijuana user, said Rebecca Hartman, a researcher with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

THC levels peak quickly as marijuana users inhale smoke, and then decrease rapidly in the first 30 minutes to an hour after smoking. Even though the THC levels are decreasing, users can still be impaired, Hartman said.

How the human body processes marijuana varies so much from person to person that even on different days a user might metabolize the drug at different rates, she said.

“We’ve shown that cannabis increases lane weaving and some studies have shown one of the big things that cannabis is known to impair is driver attention,” Hartman said.

A June study on drugged driving conducted by Hartman and others suggested that people driving with THC levels of 13.1 ng/ml had a tendency to weave within lanes, similar to those who had a 0.08 blood alcohol content, the point at which drivers can be prosecuted in all states.

George Bianchi, a criminal defense attorney in Seattle, said the rule in his state (5 ng/ml) is not appropriate because studies of driver impairment vary so much. He said he thinks Hartman’s study opens the door to using 13 ng/ml as a national standard for marijuana impairment.

“I think you should try to quantify it somehow,” he said. “And this recent study seems to do that.”

Some states see creating DUID laws as part of the marijuana legalization process, said Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Several states considered adding or modifying per se DUID limits in 2015. Legislation that would elevate the Illinois per se standard from zero tolerance to 5 ng/ml, as amended (down from 15 ng/ml) by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, is awaiting final approval by the General Assembly. And a bill that would create a per se standard in New Jersey is before that state’s legislature. Alabama, Maine and New Mexico also reviewed bills adding per se DUID limits ranging from 2 ng/ml to 5 ng/ml, though none passed.

“Considering most states already have them in place, and they are already being enforced, we don’t see the need to add them,” Fox said. “But we’re not going to scuttle a bill that would legalize (marijuana) because of per se (laws).”

Because of the variation in users’ impairment levels, critics of blood testing like Paul Armentano, deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, say the tests are an inappropriate measure of how well a person was driving at the time of a traffic stop or crash.

“Where is the need to go in this (direction) with cannabis when there is a consensus among experts in the field that the presence of THC in the blood in a single sample is not an accurate predictor of recent use, nor is it a predictor of performance?” Armentano said.

He cited a February 2015 drug and alcohol crash risk study from the Department of Transportation that points out contradictions between previous studies about the relationship between marijuana use and motor vehicle crashes. The analysis, which looked at marijuana and other drugs, found that, when adjusted for age, gender and alcohol use, there was no significant increase in crash risk associated with the use of THC.

Legalization advocates said they worry that per se standards will lead to DUID convictions of people who were not impaired by marijuana when they were pulled over for traffic violations, but might test positive for THC because they are frequent recreational users or use marijuana as medicine.

“These laws could lead to significant unintended consequences and the most significant of those is that the law prosecutes and convicts individuals of violating traffic safety laws for simply having engaged in behavior in the privacy of their own home that at no point rose to a legitimate traffic safety threat,” Armentano said. In 2014, the Arizona Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that allowed for the prosecution of drivers under the per se law, even if there was no evidence of impairment. The previous year, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that police must prove driver impairment to pursue DUID charges.

States began adopting THC-specific standards in the early 1990s after highly publicized accidents, Armentano said. He contends that the laws are largely unnecessary given established protocols for determining if a driver is under the influence of a drug.

“The officer is collecting evidence from the minute he flashes his lights,” he said. “Based on evidence observed at the scene, he or she is going to start making some judgment about whether (the driver) might be under the influence.”

What It’s Really Like To Have PTSD Flashbacks

August 27, 2015
Dana Dovey
Displayed with permission from Medical Daily

Traumatic life-threatening events often leave emotional scars, which, like physical scars, remain with an individual for the rest of their lives. Although we all go through a healing period following trauma, for some, the emotional scars are so deep they interfere with their ability to function normally. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder where flashbacks and memories of a traumatic event significantly disrupt patients’ everyday lives.

In a World Health Organization survey, it found that around 3.6 percent of the world’s population suffered from PTSD over the past 12 months. The underlying factors that lead to the development of PTSD are complex and still poorly understood; however, as new research emerges, scientists are gaining a better understanding. For example, they’ve already found genetics may play a role.

Recently, Medical Daily had the chance to speak with Ruska, a 23-year-old American college student who developed PTSD after experiencing repeated physical, sexual, and emotional abuse through most of her life. Ruska, who chose to conceal her identity by using a different name, hopes that her first-hand account of what it’s like to live with PTSD will not only help remove some of the stigma attached to it, but also give hope to other people living with the oftentimes debilitating condition.

PTSD message conceptual design
PTSD message conceptual design

What were some of your earliest symptoms of PTSD and when were you diagnosed?

I’ve had PTSD symptoms for as far back as I can remember. A majority of my trauma stems from extreme abuse from my parents growing up: sexual, physical, emotional, and mental abuse and neglect. I was then raped six times in college and have been homeless on and off since I graduated high school.

[When I was 12], I got retriggered by a friend at school. I was in fifth grade and he came up to me and told me what sex was, and said that some kid in my class had molested a girl in the woods. I didn’t know any of what he was saying, I was still very oblivious to the words, but I knew that it triggered all the abuse I had suppressed. Afterward, I didn’t sleep or leave the house for a month-and-a-half and was crying non-stop. My parents finally took me to a therapist, but they did not want their abuse to be revealed, so that did not last very long. I wasn’t allowed to go to a therapist again until I was put in therapy by my college in my freshman year, (2011) after a sexual assault on campus. That’s when I got diagnosed.

How does your condition affect your everyday life?

It’s really hard. I ended up going on medical leave [from school] because it affected my memory. It got to the point when I’d have completely sober blackouts and I couldn’t even remember seeing people, having conversations with people, or doing things. It messes up my ability to process what people are saying, so I would be sitting in class and the professor is talking, but the words are all jumbled. I would be trying to take notes and he’ll be all, like, halfway through a sentence and I won’t even remember the first half of what the sentence was. I also get really bad dissociation. That’s one of the main signs that confirmed to my therapist that I had PTSD. I was completely outside of my body almost looking down on myself.

What are some of the physical effects of living with PTSD?

I have developed Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, sciatica pain, and chronic fatigue.

I did become an extreme alcoholic for numerous years, to the point [where] I was blacking out probably about five times a week. I also had an eating disorder back in high school that landed me in the hospital. I think when I was drinking I was trying to both feel something and numb something at the same time, because I was in so much pain and so numb. At this point — because most of my abuse happened around alcohol and almost all my abusers were alcoholics — it’s triggering to even think about drinking, which is why I don’t really drink any more.

What helps you cope?

I’m on Ambien. They had me up to the highest dose and I still wake up with terrors — it’s that bad for me. I don’t like taking it because it leaves me really groggy in the morning, which then leads to my depression.

Just talking about what happened over and over again helps. I know a lot of therapists think that not talking about it is the way to go and just move on, but in my experience, talking through what I have been through allows me to believe that it has happened. I get triggered, relive through events, and get flashbacks constantly, but there is part of me that believes it didn’t actually happen. Talking about it and talking about my feelings helps me to believe it’s happened, accept that it’s happened, and therefore let it go. That, mixed with exercising, has been huge for me in allowing me to let off some of that emotion and energy that feels trapped.

I do use marijuana medicinally; that helps me so much. I use very little at a time because too much can give me anxiety, but it helps my fatigue and my appetite so much. It can help, like, ground me when I get so much anxiety that I’m out of my body. It also helps a lot with my physical symptoms.

What’s something that you’d want people without PTSD to understand?

I’m really glad that you’re writing this because I feel that so many people out there don’t understand PTSD at all. I feel like people are starting to become a little more aware of it, with the push with the VA and the veterans — but even that, it’s very different. I have friends who have PTSD from war and I have friends who have PTSD from trauma and abuse, and I would say they are very different. It is something very indescribable if you haven’t been through it. I feel like there is a lot of judgement about it [and] I’m glad that more word is getting out there about what it’s actually like.

Is there anything you’d want other people with PTSD to know?

There is no quick fix, but have patience with it and yourself. Not a lot of people are going to understand, but everything you’re experiencing is normal. Whatever happened wasn’t your fault and it will get better, even on days when it really doesn’t feel like it will.

Seeking Justice: Complaint Filed Against Colorado to Allow Pot for PTSD Treatment

Several people on Wednesday filed a complaint in Denver District Court against the Colorado Board of Health’s decision in July not to add post-traumatic stress disorder to medical conditions that can be treated under the state’s medical marijuana program.

The complaint lists Curtis Bean, Larisa Bolivar, Stephen Otero, Matthew Kahl and Zach Phillips as plaintiffs in the case. They are asking that a judge overturn the board’s ruling. Several are military veterans, and one is a survivor of sexual and physical abuse.

In the complaint, attorneys argue that the plaintiffs’ access to appropriate medicinal strains of marijuana has been “severely impeded” by the board’s refusal to recognize PTSD as an appropriate condition for the medical marijuana recommendations.

In July, the Colorado Board of Health said there wasn’t evidence supporting claims that pot is a viable treatment for PTSD. The vote came after the state’s chief medical officer Dr. Larry Wolk, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, recommended it for the medical condition.

Wolk had proposed several state studies on the issue and that the board could revisit medical marijuana for PTSD treatment in four years, but the board balked at that proposal.

The CDPHE and board have 21 days to file their answer, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs, so there is no hearing on the complaint set.

Carlos Illescas: 303-954-1175, or

Minority Youth Matters Movement To Protest NASCAR & Sponsors

ATLANTA, Aug. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Minority Youth Matters Movement announces its intention to begin a national movement directed at NASCAR Motor Sports, its racing team owners, and sponsors. The Minority Youth Matters Movement (MYMM) will launch a nationwide campaign in 14 cities and 17 locations throughout the United States on September 20, 2015!

Chicago, IL – Chicago Motor Speedway
Washington, DC – The White House
Harlem, NY
Magic Johnson Theater
Bank of America
Seattle, WA – in front of Home Depot
Atlanta, GA, Centennial Park – The World of Coke, Coca-Cola, Cheez-It
Miami, FL – Sprint, XFinity, Camping World
Daytona Beach, FL – NASCAR Corporate Headquarters
Charlotte, NC – NASCAR Hall of Fame
Memphis, TN – FedEx Corporate Offices
Nashville, TN – Dover Speedway
Dayton, OH – Lowe’s
Dallas, TX – Sprint Store
Kansas City, KS – Mobile 1 & Quaker State
Waycross, GA – M & M, Kellogg & Tide

Who is MYMM?

MYMM is a movement of well-informed consumers and the BASCAR Community (BASCAR is minority community that has a love for NASCAR) who know where their dollars are being spent and what companies are benefiting from our purchases. We are a national network of loyal minority communities, leaders, families, civic groups, students, sport fans, community leaders and faith-based organizations of all races and cultures, Hispanic, African American, Asian and other nationalities. We are one collective voice for a common cause. We want our businesses and youth engaged. We want NASCAR and the sponsors who support this regime to understand fully who 50% of their true customers are and the products and services we buy to elevate their bottom lines. We need these sponsors to support our minority organizations, interests and open the doors of diversity.

The purpose of the MYMM Campaign

Our goal is to bring awareness to the American people and consumers around the world of the injustice and disregard to potential minority ownership within NASCAR. Our voice will be heard on every corporate sponsor’s doorstep questioning their inconsistencies in their missions to support diversity in sports. We will have 19 kids holding MYMM Banners for 48 minutes at each of the 17 locations. This number represents the year NASCAR was birthed in America, 1948. NASCAR has had sixty (60) plus years to incorporate diversity in their sport and failed on numerous occasions. NASCAR earns a profit of $3.2 billion dollars annually. Where does diversity come into play? We understand the corporate mission is to brand your product name that contribute to the success of NASCAR, but what is their corporate mission on diversity and inclusion?

“But let’s be real Sprint, Budweiser, Mobile1, Valvoline, XFinity, Bank of America, Nationwide, Lowes, Home Depot and all others. Your brand and products have been purchased by minority groups for decades throughout the world. These astonishing results are itemized and publicized in your quarterly reports showing tremendous earnings for your companies. Wake up, Corporate America, because the reports and earnings are about to change. It’s time to tell the world and educate the world on the lack of diversity and inclusion in NASCAR! It’s time to boycott those brands who continue to contribute to the NASCAR legacy and not to the youth whom you’ve seemed to have forgotten as the consumers who make up to 50% of your earnings.”

What we are looking to accomplish:

Minority leaders from across the nation are working together to form a Motorsports Association to collaborate with sponsoring corporations and to partner in developing a comprehensive diversity program. This program will support minorities in becoming influential in the business of NASCAR. Our goal is to design, develop, and manage a program sponsored by interested corporations to meet diversity and inclusion milestones within the sport as well as engage our newly formed partnership with NASCAR. This association will design, develop, and implement an entirely integrated minority program with checks and balances in collaboration with NASCAR. We are reaching out to all corporate sponsors of NASCAR to give them an opportunity to understand our concerns and challenges in breaking the current mold with the NASCAR brand. NASCAR does not exist without the funding and contributions from concerned corporations. We need corporate support to transform this movement into a well-supported partnership; therefore we are giving NASCAR an opportunity to conform to diversity and inclusion as other sports have accomplished (NBA, NFL, MLB and others).

The NASCAR attitude toward diversity


Terrance Alton Cox lll (founder of Diversity-Motor Sports), the minority national leaders, and the BASCAR community have reached out to NASCAR on several occasions to propose a diversity program called “Reach One, Teach One” that would increase opportunities for the minority community to engage with NASCAR. Not only did NASCAR refuse to involve itself in this program, but they also would not even take a meeting with minority leadership to discuss diversity. We found the following statements to reflect the general attitude of NASCAR:

Zachary Daniel Corporate Counsel from NASCAR, in a letter sent to the minority community and DMS:

“NASCAR is not interested in pursuing any partnership or affiliation with Diversity Motorsports, LLC or your Reach1Teach1 platform.”

“Nor do we have any interest in developing further relationship in diversity or S.T.E.M. education initiatives with you or Diversity Motorsports, LLC.”

He even went as far as to threaten Terrance Alton Cox lll with banishment for being too persistent in trying to advocate for diversity In NASCAR.

July 2015

Twitter statement from Mr. Scott White, the President of Roush Fenway Racing Fan Club: “I could say the NFL is RACIST against whites because of the amount of Blacks and Hispanics in the league but I don’t.”

“There is finally a BLACK BOY ( Buba Wallace) with talent, and he deserves the ride he has at Roush.”

May 2015

Lesa France Kennedy quotes: CBS Sunday Morning Show.

As she stated in her interview: “Our grandstands need to look like America.”

Terrance Alton Cox lll

“The minority leaders, the minority community, and the BASCAR community will not stop these protests against NASCAR and Sponsors until minority youth are integrated and engaged in NASCAR.”

Our movement may seem like a threat to some, but it’s a concern to us. Concerns which have to be heard loud and clear from the voices that make a difference, from consumers who believe in your published diverse missions, as well as invest their loyalty to this mission and brand.

Why is NASCAR so different from everyone else in accepting diversity? 1948 to NOW doesn’t make sense, as the minority community and the BASCAR community, have power today! The power to buy brands and products we believe in and provide support within the minority communities we represent. So think about the investments you make when in selling us advertising through well-designed commercials to catch our attention during TV shows and better yet, the biggest viewership event, the NFL Super Bowl. An enlightened concern can uncover inconsistencies very quickly and change the curve of flow charts at stockholder meetings.

MYMM will protest any corporation who decides to become the title sponsor for the NASCAR CUP series. We will protest at every branch of their organization beginning with their headquarters. Additionally, we will encourage the American consumers to boycott the sponsor’s goods and services.

Let it be clear to NASCAR, Sponsors, & Corporate America. This movement will not stop or be delayed. It will continue until it spreads across the globe and catches the attention and hearts of millions of viewers and consumers who invest their time and dollars into NASCAR. We encourage you to take note and engage immediately to avoid future protest engagements that have already been designed and scheduled with community leaders across the nation. We want the public to see how quickly you react to this concern. Think about the positive impact as well as the increased market share of the NASCAR fan base when you do engage.


August 24, 2015
Displayed with permission from PR Newswire

Anti-Tar Sands Activists Take Pipeline Opposition to John Kerry’s Front Door

‘This illegal deal zigzags the oil across the international border on a different pipeline,’ environmental groups say of Alberta Clipper project

Roughly 100 young climate activists and their allies are rallying—with about 20 risking arrest through civil disobedience—outside the Washington, D.C. home of Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday morning, in an attempt to halt the “scandal” of tar sands expansion in the U.S.

Organized by Midwest Unrest—a group of students and recent graduates organizing young people across the Midwest against tar sands—the protest aims to call attention to a “backroom deal” between the State Department and Canadian oil company Enbridge that is allowing a massive expansion of its Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline to proceed without going through the legally required environmental review process.

“This illegal deal zigzags the oil across the international border on a different pipeline,” explains the call to action, “so the tar sands can start flowing at capacities similar to Keystone XL before anyone has ever studied the environmental and social impacts.”

Environmental and Indigenous groups are fighting the scheme in federal court, but Midwest Unrest, which is supported by groups including, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Oil Change International, says Kerry “has the power to put a stop to this scandal at any time.”

Tuesday’s action raises the stakes, and the pressure, on Kerry’s State Department. Those who planned to be arrested locked themselves together on Kerry’s doorstep.

“For two years we have sent petitions, called the White House, and brought thousands of people to rally against this scandal, but Secretary Kerry has still not responded or done anything to stop it,” said Kendall Mackey, national tar sands campaign manager with Energy Action Coalition and one of the main organizers of the event. “With our communities and our future on the line, we have no choice but to bring our message right to Secretary Kerry’s front door to expose this dangerous and illegal scheme and urge him to put a stop to the Alberta Clipper pipeline.”

Kerrry 2
Activists risked arrest during the action on Tuesday. (Photo: Energy Action Coalition/Twitter)

The demonstration is taking place even as the nation’s first tar sands mine is set to begin operating this fall in eastern Utah.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Seeking Justice: Medical Marijuana Patient Prosecuted by Obama Administration Dies of Cancer

By Steven Nelson U.S. News Aug. 21, 2015 | 12:23 p.m. EDT

Larry Harvey visited the nation’s capital in May 2014 and sat in a wheelchair outside Congress, flanked by lawmakers appalled that the Obama administration wanted to put him and his family in prison for roughly complying with Washington state’s marijuana laws.

Three weeks later, marijuana reformers won their first major victory in Congress. The House of Representatives voted 219-189 to ban the Justice Department from spending money to undermine state medical marijuana programs.

Harvey, 71, died Thursday afternoon from pancreatic cancer and will be remembered as the public face of his family’s refusal to accept prison terms for tending a collective garden in rural Washington that they marked with a large sign visible from the air.

The so-called Kettle Falls Five — Harvey, his wife Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, their son, a daughter-in-law and a family friend — refused plea deals that would have landed them three years in prison in a state where regulated shops sell marijuana to anyone 21 or older.

An anti-marijuana U.S. attorney’s office in eastern Washington zealously pursued the five following a 2012 raid by DEA agents, and the case quickly attracted headlines.

Harvey insisted the group — each member of which had a state medical pot card — had done nothing wrong with their 74-plant garden and candidly shared how Firestack-Harvey brewed marijuana butter for use in medicated cookies that allowed him to sleep through gout pain.

Washington state law allowed patients to grow 15 plants each, with a cap of 45 plants in collective gardens. Family attorneys pointed out the five defendants were within the 15-plant-per-person limit.

Harvey was excused from the case before trial, after his cancer diagnosis. The rest of the family was found not guilty in March of most federal charges against them, but were convicted of growing between 50 and 100 pot plants. Sentencing is scheduled for October, where they face a possible 20 years in prison but hope for probation. The family friend accepted a plea deal and much of the blame.

The prosecution appeared to fly in the face of 2009 guidance from the Department of Justice that federal prosecutors should not target medical marijuana patients and came as the Justice Department allowed state-regulated recreational marijuana markets to open in Colorado and Washington state.

Americans overwhelmingly support medical marijuana, according to polls, but at trial the patients were not allowed to say they grew the drug for state-permitted medical use.

Possession of marijuana for any reason outside limited research is a federal crime, regardless of state laws allowing medical or recreational use. Prosecutors and judges presiding over the case decided informing the jury about state law would be confusing and irrelevant.

Still, jurors appeared to recognize they weren’t dealing with a drug cartel and acquitted them of distribution, conspiracy, cultivation of more than 100 plants and use of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking charges.

The advocacy group Americans for Safe Access estimates the prosecution cost the federal government $2 million. The budget amendment passed by Congress ahead of the trial could not have forced an end to a standing prosecution, and a judge found it would not apply anyhow because the defendants allegedly broke state law.

“Larry will be remembered as a fighter until the bitter end,” his family said in a statement circulated by Kari Boiter, who played a major role publicizing the case.

“He fearlessly confronted the federal government head on and beat the Department of Justice, against all odds. In a so-called justice system where less than two percent of defendants walk free, Larry was able to leave the federal courthouse with his head held high after the U.S. Attorney dropped all charges against him.”

The family said “Larry’s triumph was made all the more satisfying when the Feds were forced to return his beloved motorcycle, confiscated in the 2012 raid of Larry’s family home,” which he spent his final months enjoying.

The budget amendment that Harvey lobbied for became law in December when it was included in a large spending deal. The House of Representative voted to reauthorize the language by a larger 242-186 margin in June.