Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Only in America #blacklivesmatter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2021

 LContact: Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, dchicurel-bayard@acluofnc.org, (919) 664-2484

ACLU of NC Statement on the Police Murder of Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, North Carolina

 RALEIGH, N.C. - According to multiple news reports Andrew Brown was shot and killed by police in Elizabeth City, N.C., as he drove away. The police killing occurred less than 24 hours after Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. 

Yesterday, sixteen-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant was shot and killed by police in Columbus, Ohio. Ms. Bryant was a young Black woman.

Anthony J. Thompson Jr., 17, was shot and killed by police at his school in Knoxville, Tenn., on April 12, 2021. Mr. Thompson was a young Black man.

Daunte Wright, 20, was shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on April 11, 2021. Mr. Wright was a Black man.

James Alexander, 24, was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in Logan, Pa., on April 7, 2021. Mr. Alexander was a Black man. 

Larry Jenkins, 52, was shot and killed by police in Winter Haven, Fla., on April 17, 2021. Mr. Jenkins was a Black man.

Donovon Lynch, 25, of Virginia Beach, Va., was shot and killed by police on March 26, 2021. Mr. Lynch was a Black man.

Ivan Cuevas, 27, was shot and killed by police in Visalia, Calif., on March 31, 2021. Mr. Cuevas was a Hispanic man.

Michael Leon Hughes, 32, was shot and killed by police in Jacksonville, Fla, on March 30, 2021. Mr. Hughes was a Black man.

Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police in Chicago, Ill., on March 29, 2021. Adam Toledo was a Black child.

Matthew Blaylock, 38, was shot and killed by police in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 29, 2021. Mr. Blaylock was a Black man. 

Krys Ruiz, 26, was shot and killed by police in Lompoc, Calif., on March 28, 2021. Mr. Ruiz was a Hispanic man. 

Eduardo Parra, 24, was shot and killed by police in Sylvania Township, Ohio, on March 21, 2021. Mr. Parra was a Hispanic man.

Daryl Jordan, 50, was shot and killed by police in Miami, Fla., on March 18, 2021. Mr. Jordan was a Black man.

David Suarez, 44, was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in Devils Lake, N.D., on March 17, 2021. Mr. Suarez was a Native American man. 

Angel Degollado, 21, was shot and killed by police in Laredo, Texas, on March 14, 2021. Mr. Degollado was a Hispanic man.

David Ordaz, 34, was shot and killed by police in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 14, 2021. Mr. Ordaz was a Hispanix man.

Ryan White Mountain-Soft, 30, was shot and killed by police in McLaughlin, S.D., on March 14, 2021. Mr. Mountain-Soft was a Native American man.

Christopher Ruffin, 28, was shot and killed by police in Palm Bay, Fla., on March 14, 2021. Mr. Ruffin was a Black man.

Nika Holbert, 31, was shot and killed by police in Memphis, Tenn., on March 12, 2021. Ms. Holbert was a Black woman.

Tyrell Wilson, 32, was shot and killed by police in Danville, Calif., on March 11, 2021. Mr. Wilson was a Black man.

Tyshon Jones, 29, was shot and killed by police in Rochester, N.Y., on March 10, 2021. Mr. Jones was a Black man. 

Howayne Gayle, 35, was shot and killed by police in Lakeland, Fla., on March 7, 2021. Mr. Gayle was a Black man.

Andrew Teague, 43, was shot and killed by police in Columbus, Ohio, on March 5, 2021. Mr. Teague was a Black man.

Dwight Brown, 41, was shot and killed by police in Abbeville, La., on March 3, 2021. Mr. Brown was a Black man.

Rudy Duvivier, 32, was shot and killed by police in Clay County, Fla., on February 27, 2021. Mr. Duvivier was a Black man.

Juan Hernandez, 33, was shot and killed by police in New Wilmington, Pa., on February 25. Mr. Hernandez was a Hispanic man.

Donald Hairston, 44, was shot and killed by police in Culpepper, Va., on February 25, 2021. Mr. Hairston was a Black man.

The Washington Post reports that at least 984 people have been shot and killed by police in the United States in the past year, averaging 2.7 people per day. Many of the people killed by police are white. However, The Washington Post’s data analysis notes that Black Americans account for “less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.”

Kristie Puckett-Williams, Statewide Campaign for Smart Justice Manager for the ACLU of North Carolina, issued the following statement after the police killing of Andrew Brown in Elizebeth City, N.C., on April 21, 2021:

“This is what happens in America.”

 

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Out of your gourd #computerart #badpoetry

You've been out of your gourd

For some time now

And see eye to eye

With a little orange friend 

But he's merrier than you

Because he accepts that

Seasons change 

But you live in the same day

As you did way back when

Never advancing 

While the calendar pages

Flip and flip 

And flip 




Friday, March 5, 2021

Wear a mask if you care about other people

 Over 500,000 people are dead, yet I still see people who refuse to wear masks. While masks are not a panacea, they help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You'd think people would do anything possible to prevent the spread of this deadly virus, but many don't seem to care. I equate not wearing a mask with a lack of humanity. It shouts, "I don't care enough about you to put a piece of cloth or piece of synthetic fiber on my face." 

Friday, January 29, 2021

A pollution solution that's growing on trees

A pollution solution that's growing on trees: New published studies from an experiment at Moffett Field are showing dramatic success at using inoculated poplar trees to combat TCE groundwater pollution.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Wearing a mask means you care--not wearing one means you don't #COVID19

Masks are mandatory in many states. Not wearing a mask is a crime, and it says you don't care about humanity. It says you don't care if people die, and that's what they are doing by the thousands. As of right now, we are on the verge of 133,000 deaths in America. That's about double the deaths in Vietnam--it took less than five months.

A mask is a piece of cloth on your face.

It's not hard. No one is infringing on your rights. You give up your rights all the time even when you buy an app or join Facebook (no your stuff isn't private or your property there). It's called the social contract. Sure you could live in a state of freedom if you want to be beaten or shot to death with no consequences. Wait a minute? That already happens!

Whenever I see people without masks, I call them out. "Where's your mask?" It's a fair question because we are talking about peoples' lives. That still matters, right?

Friday, February 14, 2020

Where do your ideas come form? #amwriting

Now that my work has started to appear in print publications I'm no longer a hack (or so I think). Consequently, now I get that cliched question: where do your ideas come from? No precise answer exists for this question, so my general answer is: everywhere and nowhere.

Everywhere
Everything seen, heard, or thought can inspire ideas. I don't recall who said it, but there are no original thoughts. That's true. And there are no new stories, quite frankly. Everything is recycled. For example, how many stories are the "hero's journey"? Hero starts out somewhere (home). He or she is tested. Hero wins and returns home victorious and changed. Lord of the Rings is a good example of this.

Typically I blend fiction I've read and some real life occurrences. Usually my characters are an amalgamation of fiction and multiple people, but not you, dear reader.

So my ideas that occur on an active level are normally loosely planned. Not so in the nowhere category.

Nowhere
When I begin writing, things pour into my head like I'm sitting in a movie theatre watching. On the good days, I have no idea where anything is coming from, and I frantically try and type everything I can as best as possible until the vague vision goes away. This is imperative because it will go away and never come back, like one of those illusive dreams you long for seconds after you wake up.

My best ideas have seemingly fallen out of the sky, and I say, "Oh...shit, I better write this down." My latest story came out beautifully, and I still can't believe it came out so well. It fused somewhere in the ether after two thoughts, years apart, met each other in my mind while I was running, I believe. I'm working on a novel based on that story, but I wonder: how am I ever going to come up with a story like that again?

So much more can be said, and I've likely not given you a clearer idea than when I started. Quite frankly, I really don't know where the ideas come from, but I do know if I read, write, and observe there will be more ideas.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Writers write #amwriting

Writers keep writing no matter what. It may not feel good. Your words may trip over each other (or seem to), and your ideas may feel garbled. But you must write as much as possible even if it is only for a little while each day. That's hard to do, especially if you are a busy lawyer like me. But I make some time each day, even if it is only for twenty minutes. Writing acts as a release, but you also improve when you do it. As most writers will tell you, very few writers are born, but almost all of them are made.

I don't know about you, but I get sick of hearing from people, who "want to write." As Stephen King says, "Writers write." It's that simple and that difficult. If you don't write, you aren't a writer. You are just a talker kind of like that person who says they want to go to law school. They don't.

Writers also read a lot. I've found this doesn't just mean reading a physical book because I listen to close to sixty audio books a year. That's a lot, and I think it helps me hear how words sound and visualize paragraphs. I get more of a sense of rhythm, pace, and when to do what.

My advice to other writers is easy: write, even if it's just a little.