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The Movie Fruitvale Station Hit Hard, Left Me Emotionally Paralyzed

Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM PDT
The Movie Fruitvale Station Hit Hard, Left Me Emotionally Paralyzed
by KwikFollow

I sat motionless as uncontrollable tears rolled down my cheeks as the credits rolled after the new movie Fruitvale Station. I literally couldn't move or stop bawling as the impact of that film hit me to my core. All I could do was sit there paralyzed by emotion thinking: "Why do WE have to go through such unnecessary sh!t?"

For those who don't know, this film is based on the true story of Oscar Grant. An unarmed 22-year-old black man who was laying face down when shot in the back and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer on January 1, 2009 at BART's Fruitvale Station. Grant and his friends had been going home on the train after watching New Year's Eve fireworks in San Francisco.

The officers were responding to reports of fights on the train and Grant was one of the suspects pulled off the train and being questioned. At some point, amid the chaos and confusion one of the officers pulled out his gun and shot Grant. Several people videotaped the incident with cell phone cameras. The video, which climaxes with the sound of a single gunshot--went viral.

Ultimately, the shooter--who claimed he thought he was about to taze Grant and mistakenly pulled out and fired his pistol--was only convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served only 11 months in jail for taking Grant's life. There were varying accounts of what happened and the videos were inconclusive, but the officer, of course, claimed Grant was aggressively resisting arrest.

I think the reason this film hit me so hard is because it made me think of Trayvon Martin, who was also innocently on his way home before being accosted, shot and killed by another in-over-his-head, overzealous idiot.

The film didn't portray Grant as an angel or a monster...just more or less a regular guy trying to make it through life. But I'm sure there are those (like Bill O'Reilly or Larry Elder) who will say the real-life Grant was a convicted felon...a trouble-making, pot-smoking thug, and just a bad person who caused his own death. Isn't that pretty much what many George Zimmerman apologists are saying about Trayvon Martin? Makes me wanna holler!!

According to an eye witness, among Grant's last words were, "I got a four-year-old daughter!" Those don't sound like the words of a bad human being to me.

What a powerful, powerful movie. It reaffirms the need for every black parent to have that "talk" with their young sons. I know I did.

According to a story in the Los Angeles times, while attending the film's recent premiere in Oakland, Grant's mother--Wanda Johnson--was asked why she's reliving the tragedy via the movie? She answered: "I have to. You know why? Because I wouldn't want you or anybody else to go through it," she said. "If I don't do it, then I'm always going to have that on my heart."

Ms. Johnson, what happened to your son and too many of our young men is on my heart, too--my very heavy heart, which was laid bare and fully exposed by the end of this magnificent film.


Oregon woman awarded $18.6 million after Equifax failed to fix errors on her credit report

Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 02:51 PM PDT
Oregon woman awarded $18.6 million after Equifax failed to fix errors on her credit report
by Christian Dem in NCFollow

Back in 2009, Julie Miller of Marion County, Oregon (Salem), was denied credit by a bank due to an erroneous credit rating from Equifax. She spent almost three years trying to get Equifax to fix the mistake, but Equifax refused. So naturally, Miller sued. Yesterday, a federal jury in Portland ordered Equifax to pay Miller $18.6 million in damages--$18.4 million in punitive damages and $180,000 in actual damages. It is believed to be one of the largest judgments ever imposed against a major credit bureau.

(Miller) contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes.

"There was damage to her reputation, a breach of her privacy and the lost opportunity to seek credit," said Justin Baxter, the Portland attorney who teamed on the case with his father and law partner, Michael Baxter. "She has a brother who is disabled and who can't get credit on his own and she wasn't able to help him."

The Oregonian got its hands on Miller's original complaint. Read it here. It alleges that on at least three occasions, Equifax failed to even investigate Miller's claims of errors on her report. On the times it did investigate, it failed to make changes despite the obvious errors. Miller also charged that Equifax failed to send her a copy of her credit report at least twice, even though credit bureaus are required by law to provide one free credit report per year to a customer upon request. Miller claimed she was denied credit at least one other time due to the errors, and was also unable to help her disabled brother.

As it turned out, the errors came because someone at Equifax placed information from another Julie Miller into the plaintiff's record. Apparently Equifax was so lazy that it sent the plaintiff's financial information to companies asking about the other Julie Miller. Although Equifax is appealing, now it's staring down the barrel of having to pay several times what it would have cost to simply fix the problem--though more than likely it'll be less than the initial bill for $18.6 million.


Sasha Baron Cohen's Democracy Speech in "The Dictator"

“Why are you guys so anti-dictatorship? Imagine if America was a dicatatorship! You could let 1% of the people have all the nation’s wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes and bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health-care and education. Your media would appear free; but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wire-tape phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group and no one would complain. You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests. I knew this is hard for you Americans to imagine, but please: try!”

White people who kill black people in 'Stand Your Ground' states are 354% more likely to be cleared

White people who kill black people in 'Stand Your Ground' states are 354% more likely to be cleared of murder

* Drawn from a study using FBI data on homicides between 2005 to 2009
* 31 states across the U.S. have the 'Stand your Ground' law
* Florida where Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin has the self-defence law

By Jill Reilly
PUBLISHED: 06:00 EST, 15 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:39 EST, 15 July 2013

White people who kill black people in 'Stand Your Ground' states are 354 per cent more likely to be found justified in their killing than a white person who kills another white person, according to research...

...The result was drawn from a study using FBI data conducted by John Roman, a senior analyst at Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center...He examined racial disparity using data on 43,500 homicides from 2005 to 2009 - the most recent years for which data was available, reported PBS.

He narrowed the sample to about 5,000 homicides by only analyzing killings in which there was a single shooter and a single victim, both of whom were strangers to each other...

Breakdown of the killings:

Breakdown of the killings: The figures represent the percentage likelihood that the deaths will be found justifiable compared to white-on-white killings

...Frontline then asked him to analyse the data and look for findings between states which had Stand Your Ground versus those without the laws...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2363939/White-people-kill-black-people-Stand-Your-Ground-states-354-likely-cleared-murder-Fresh-questions-self-defence-law-wake-Zimmerman-verdict.html#ixzz2ZKKo0Lgv

1 million sign petition against Zimmerman

Please consider signing this petition if you haven't done so already.

1 million sign petition against Zimmerman
By Amanda Sloane
updated 7:13 PM EDT, Tue July 16, 2013

It only took two and half days for more than a million people to sign a petition asking the Department of Justice to bring federal charges against George Zimmerman.

The petition, which was started by the NAACP and lives on their website, is also being hosted on MoveOn.org.

"No petition that we’ve ever had on our open petition platform has ever grown this fast," says Anna Galland, the executive director for MoveOn.org. "I think it really speaks to the sense of outrage many people feel around the whole situation..."


...Galland also says that MoveOn.org had one of its biggest denial-of-service attacks ever Sunday morning, barring at least 100,000 people from showing their support. The NAACP reported that its site was also down for part of Sunday because of an overwhelming response. People are also getting involved by texting “JUSTICE” to 62227.


San Francisco Shooting Just Occurred

Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 02:38 PM PDT
s.f. shooting just occurred
by edrie

multiple shots fired near 888 brannan - the address is 840 brannan - the rei store. multiple ambulances sent.

i was SUPPOSED to be at brannan right now. not much news out yet - just multiple people shot at 2:30 something in the afternoon.

officers searching for someone...

more when the news comes through... but now it seems multiple victims.


2:41 PM PT: shelter in place in effect.

the suspect is still at large.

2:45 PM PT: street closures are currently brannan between 7th and 8th.

this happened around the corner from the police station so the response is rather large. also, it is not uncommon for folks from the gift center who are not cautious to face robbers - especially the diamond dealers.

more when it is available.

2:45 PM PT: fire dept reports multiple victims - at least four ambulances at the scene. witnesses describe the scene as mayhem.

when will this EVER end?

2:50 PM PT: damn! shooting happened at a jewelry store next to rei - don't know if that is the gift center or if information is just clouded - but the cameras from the helicopter are at the giftcenter.

ktvu is reporting shooting is IN the gift center. damn!

2:55 PM PT: the helicopter is showing the gift center (jewelry mart) where the block is cordoned off and people going in and out of 888 brannan. the shooting IS in the giftcenter...

witnesses say that man in white tee shirt was running toward 7th and brannan with police and man firing at each other. it appears that the shooting may have been a robbery at the jewelrymart.

the police presence is at the giftcenter/jewelry mart and ktuv reports several people in the center have been shot.

2:59 PM PT: oh no! it was victoga - the owner and girl who work there were shot - they are my friends! he has small children he is a wonderful man and so is his wife. this is right across from my pearl store.

crying now...

3:09 PM PT: the police confirmed that two people in victoga were killed. a phone witness said he called his wife and she told him that the owner and one of the women who worked there were shot.

my heart is just breaking right now - i can only pray that Mai (the wife and owner) was not there - they have young children.

3:19 PM PT: trying to bring a bit of explanation of this location...

the lower floor is all jewelry stores - a center aisle separates the stores - all have glass fronts. the giftcenter was sold a few years back to a company trying to drive out the jewelry and wholesale merchants on the upper floors.

after the sale, the security stopped. it is now easy to get into the building - not a lot of security seen in the open lobby where there is a restaurant on one side and a bar on the other.

when you go through the open food court tables, there is a stairway to the lower floor on the nw corner. when you go down the stairs, the first store on the right is my pearl store. on the left is another gold dealer - smaller.

straight ahead is the large gold wholesaler, victoga - run by wonderful people and sales staff that have been there for many years.

this is the store that was robbed.

there is a police officer now giving a press conference - saying that the two killed were found immediately inside the doors at 888 brannan, so there is a possibility that my friends have survived... not that it makes the death of the others better.

the folks who work in the shops are in and out and around the building all day along with multiple customers who are constantly in and out of the building.

still waiting for more specific information...

3:25 PM PT: fucking gun fail... damnit - when is enough efuckingnuff!

3:28 PM PT: the doorway of the business - that is where the people killed were found. it looks more and more like the ones who died may have been the victoga owner and employee...

3:37 PM PT: this shop is where i always bought the most beautiful crosses - the owner (the husband) made a special crucifix for a very special rosary i made from pearls, rubies and saphire... when ever i walked in, he would look up from his workbench behind the counter with the softest smile...

now, though, someone just reported that the two who were shot may have both been women - if the earlier report is true that the owner was shot, then it would be his wife - i hate not knowing...

i remember the birth of their little one - watched the baby grow in pictures posted behind the counter.

please keep them in your prayers and send love to heal the pain from this horrible tragedy

3:46 PM PT: the suspect made his way up and out of the building - if one knows the maze of the building, there are ways to exit and get lost in the crowd.

there may be more than one suspect - the building is being treated as though there is - the swat teams, fbi and police are searching the building.

they will be a while searching the building - too many places to hide...

3:50 PM PT: wow - one of the other jewelry store employers said they hit the floor while the owner of their shop pulled his own weapon but didn't fire. many of the dealers have permits for concealed carry.

one of the suspects fired at officers but then surrendered.

the reporter now says that the two people shot were inside the jewelry store - and the two who were shot were killed.

i keep seeing the face of one of the women - i'm afraid that i know who died... she keeps appearing over and over...

3:52 PM PT: two suspects walked in to attempt to rob victoga. one has been taken into custody. he came out and fired at police in front of mexican restaurant then ran into the restaurant (i'm guessing this is amigos that it was dos amigos that spyguy mentioned in the threads). he was taken into custody in the restaurant - the other suspect is still thought to be in the jewelrymart - but i don't think so - there are ways out of that building where one could slip through - like onto the loading dock and out onto the street.

4:05 PM PT: the police press conference now says the only one suspect - that there was an "edge" weapon and a revolver.

the suspect came out of victoga and running out of building fired at the police, ran into the restaurant, fired more shots at the police and threw the weapon down when he ran out of ammunition.

also, the press conference said that two women were killed. a third man was injured and transported. i don't know if this would be if the owner - for both the husband and wife worked in the store. if the husband of the woman working nearby is correct that one of those shot was the owner - that could be either the husband or wife. this is so unfair - so wrong. my heart breaks for her husband and family.

4:31 PM PT: as more information comes in, i am really afraid that one of the women was the owner... i am devastated by this... i remember the birth of her first child... and waiting for the little one to be born - telling her what the baby would be like (i was right)...

my heart is so broken right now...

5:05 PM PT: now the "sloppy" reporting begins... local abc 7 just reported that the business where the shooting occurred was "new" opened in 2001 - why the people in the newsroom can't operate a damned search feature is beyond me.

victoga, inc has been in business for over 26 years. i hate it when the media is so sloppy.

5:08 PM PT: i need to get away from this for a while - going to go to the barn.

i made a mistake at the beginning of the diary - i assumed the owner killed was the husband. i'm now afraid i was wrong and it was his wife.

for what - money? greed? what price is worth taking the life of a mother (OR father, for that matter) or ANY one for money.

i'll check back in later... i just can't do this any more right now...

11:10 PM PT: this is my last update... the two women killed in victoga haven't been identified - but their ages are mentioned in one article. i know from that who one is - the other, i'm not sure.

my heart goes out to everyone at victoga and to all the people who are in the jewelrymart... it is a closeknit group - they all could use your prayers and wishes for comfort now, as well as thoughts and prayers for the one still critical...

thank you all for your being there for me, too, today. it's been very hard... but you all helped so much.


Breaking: Texas Senate Passes Anti-Abortion Legislation.

Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 10:08 PM PDT
Breaking: Texas Senate Passes Anti-Abortion Legislation.
by jpmassarFollow

The vote, according to various other messaging I've seen, was 19-11.

Wendy Davis @WendyDavisTexas
Shamefully, the Texas Senate just voted to pass a law leaving tens of thousands of Texans without access to life-saving care.
17 minutes ago

How quickly will a federal judge enjoin the legislation after Perry signs it? How soon is one of these restrictive laws going to reach the Supreme Court?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 10:09 PM PT:

Wendy Davis @WendyDavisTexas
Some believe this fight is over with this vote tonight, but they're wrong. The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning.
16 minutes ago


What Dustin Hoffmann learned from being a woman...with tears...

This video was originally posted in my OP on sexism here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023207631 loyalsister recommended that I post it here as well.

I am so SICK of the sexism in this world. And I am so SICK of the enablers who find excuses for it.


I am so SICK of the sexism in this world!!! And I am so SICK of the enablers who find excuses for it!

This week the world celebrated the British victory at Wimbledon with articles like this one:

Andy Murray is the Wimbledon champion...and is the first Brit to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936...

And then we see this:

Of course, USA Today tries to spin this whole thing as "not sexist"...just logical -- because you don't GENDER jump when discussing sports!

Open a newspaper or visit any news site on Monday and you’ll find mention of Andy Murray becoming the first British champion of Wimbledon since 1936. But Great Britain has a more recent champion than that. Virginia Wade won the Wimbledon ladies championship in 1977. Is this a sexist whitewashing of history?...

...Is the ignoring of Wade’s title a dark day for sports journalism, as the Guardian suggests?...

...No, not unless you want to change the entire way we discuss major two-gender sports, like tennis, basketball, golf, swimming, track and gymnastics."

Of course, the original reports of Murray's victory did NOT describe him as a "the first British male athlete in the singles competition to win", they said "first BRIT". But why bother to bog onesself down in details when whitewashing sexism?

Again...I am so SICK of the sexism in this world. And I am so SICK of the enablers who find excuses for it.

Each day, I read about horrific things happening to women, like being gang raped or stoned to death. Those are the extreme cases.

But increasingly, I log on to my computer, and I am bombarded by headlines that leave me so angry. Sandra Fluke is a "slut" or women are forced to have unnecessary medical procedures performed if they want a legal abortion, or they are digitally raped by police officers. I would provide links to those infuriating, horrible things listed, but why bother? We all know where to find them. It's everywhere.

If only...we were equal. And if only...people would stop claiming we were.

Let me close this rant with these words from Dustin Hoffmann. Listen, as he describes how his eyes were opened by becoming a woman...And watch this grown man cry...

If only...

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