Tag Archives: California

Ferguson … justice for only some? a repost


Corinne Ball, MoveOn.org Civic Action

Many of us have wrestled with intense emotions—sadness, anger, shock, and more—as we’ve followed the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

The police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown has ignited weeks of demonstrations. Even though most protesters have been peaceful, police appeared armed with military-grade equipment.1 Reporters have been threatened and arrested by police while trying to report the story.2 The whole country has been watching what’s happening in Ferguson.3 

Many of us have asked: What can we do to ensure justice for Michael Brown? What is this awful situation revealing—or reminding us—about racism in America, police militarization, and the way our criminal justice system too often fails communities of color? 

Many of us have been moved to take action. Nearly 150,000 MoveOn members joined ColorOfChange.org to call on the Department of Justice to intervene in the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. That petition will be delivered next week in Washington, DC.

Tens of thousands of us added our names to MoveOn member and Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed’s petition calling for an independent prosecutor in the case. And many of us have made phone calls, joined community protests and vigils, and more.

MoveOn member and Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed delivered tens of thousands of MoveOn member signatures in St. Louis this week, and her campaign has drawn coverage from CNN to the Wall Street Journal and beyond.4

The vigils and national outcry have already had an impact in Ferguson. Attorney General Eric Holder—who came to meet with Ferguson residents in person—is overseeing a Department of Justice investigation.5 The FBI is conducting an investigation into civil rights abuses by the Ferguson police department.6 And a grand jury has been convened to determine if charges will be filed against Officer Darren Wilson.7

We still have much left to do and many complex issues to address before Ferguson—and America—can heal and move forward. There is no quick fix. But there are things we can all do right now to get involved in the push for justice.

One step you can take—if you haven’t already—is to sign Senator Nasheed’s petition calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting death of Michael Brown. Faith leaders and local residents have joined Senator Nasheed in expressing serious doubts about whether the prosecutor in St. Louis County, who previously failed to charge officers for murdering two unarmed black men, will objectively investigate the officer responsible.8

There’s also a huge amount of thoughtful online commentary that’s been sparked by this tragedy. Whatever you’re reading about Ferguson now, consider passing it along to a friend to keep the conversation going. Here’s one option: This piece from MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” puts the story in a broader perspective in a conversation with Marq Claxton, a retired New York Police Department detective, and Phillip Agnew, founder of the young activist group Dream Defenders:

Together, let’s continue to reflect, to speak out, and to take action.

Thanks for all you do.

–Corinne, Maria, Anna, Mark, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “A Former Marine Explains All the Weapons of War Being Used by Police in Ferguson,” The Nation, August 20, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300422&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=7

2. “6 more journalists arrested in Ferguson protests,” CNN, August 19, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300423&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=8
3. “A Movement Grows in Ferguson,” The New Yorker, August 17, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300415&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=9  4. “Concerns arise about prosecutor in Michael Brown case,” CNN, August 20, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300425&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=10“Missouri Governor Won’t Replace Prosecutor in Michael Brown Probe,” Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300426&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=115. “Jay Nixon: Missouri Highway Patrol Will Take Over Supervision Of Security In Ferguson,” Associated Press, August 14, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300416&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=126. “FBI Will Investigate Death of Black Teenager in Missouri,” The Washington Post, August 11, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300417&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=14

7. “Holder visits Ferguson as grand jury hearings begin,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300424&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=15


8. “Protesting the Prosecution,” Slate, August 21, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300418&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=18

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The 4th of July … Some independence facts


4thofJuly (1) Did you know: It was actually on July 2, 1776, that America gained its independence. So why do we celebrate on July 4?
Keep clicking to find out from Kenneth C. Davis, author of the “Don’t Know Much About” book series.

( 2) “The fact is,  John Adams wrote home to Abigail on the 3rd that this day, July 2nd will go down in history,” Davis explained on “CBS This Morning,” “We’ll celebrate it with parades and pomp and bells ringing and fireworks. And it was because Congress actually ruled it in favor of independence on July 2. But it was two days later, of course, that Congress then accepted Jefferson’s declaration, explaining the vote two days before that really got fixed in America’s imagination as our birthday. July 2nd should be Independence Day.”
(3)Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” a kind of writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
(4) Did you know Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness”?
“Jefferson did not come up with these words out of thin air,” Davis said on “CBS This Morning.” “These were words and ideas that had been floating around for a very long time. Other people had written about things like ‘the pursuit of property.’ Jefferson, I think can say we say happily changed that to the ‘pursuit of happiness’.”

(5) John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. Davis explained, “That may be the most extraordinary coincidence in all of history. On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the declaration…the two giants of the declaration both died. … Jefferson died first. Adams was alive, of course, in Massachusetts. He didn’t know that Jefferson had died but said, famously, perhaps apocryphally, that ‘Jefferson still lives.’ And people took that to mean his words will live forever.”

(6) The Liberty had nothing to do with July 4th. It wasn’t called the “Liberty Bell” until the 1830s and that’s also when it got its famous crack.

(7) Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 — John Hancock (not the big signature!) and Charles Thompson, secretary of the Congress.

(8) Jefferson’s original draft was lost and the one eventually signed is the “engrossed” document and is kept at the National Archives.

(9) The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside – 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for. One of these was found on the back of the picture frame at a tag sale and sold at auction for $8.14 million to television producer Norman Lear. It now travels the country to be displayed to the public.

Resource: cbsnews.com

USA.gov … Beware of Skin Lotions Tainted with Mercury


a repost… mercury poisoning via skin care products and food is still a real issue

A Mysterious chemical found in dead cat’s brain reopens debate over mercury poisoning disaster

In February 2020, The Minamata poisoning has been considered a textbook example of how inorganic mercury turns into organic mercury, and how a toxic substance propagates up the food chain to humans. by Victoria Dinh, 

AND in January of 2019

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is warning the public of skin creams containing mercury. Mercury has been found in some skin creams made, altered, or sold in Mexico and other countries.

In one case, an individual in Texas was diagnosed with mercury poisoning after using a product purchased in Mexico that was labeled as Pond’s skin cream. The mercury was not added by the original manufacturer but by a third party, presumably in Mexico. A similar case of mercury poisoning through skin cream has recently been identified in California, and Texas has had others in the past. Skin creams containing mercury claim to lighten the skin, treat acne, or fade freckles, blemishes, and age spots.

Mercury is dangerous and can cause adverse health effects in both adults and children. Products containing mercury are especially of concern for pregnant women or nursing mothers, because mercury may be passed on to fetuses and infants.

Clinical Presentation:

The symptoms associated with mercury poisoning are often non-specific, and thus, pose difficulties for diagnosis. Due to this, it is often misdiagnosed and leads to clinical treatments that do not address the underlying mercury poisoning.

General symptoms of mercury poisoning may include shaking, tremors, impaired balance or coordination, headaches, hypertension, depression, insomnia, weight loss, fatigue, nervousness, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, or numbness or tingling in hands, feet, lips.

In children, prolonged exposure to mercury poisoning may present as excessive salivation or thirst, gingivitis, irritability, anorexia, poor muscle tone, leg cramps, hypertension, rash, peeling or flaking skin, or pink extremities (e.g. hands and feet).

Long term exposure to mercury may cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms may present as extreme fatigue, muscle aches, weakness, and sores in the mouth, in addition to the symptoms listed above.

Recommendations for Clinicians:

Health care providers should:

  • Ask patients suspected of mercury poisoning if they use skin creams purchased in Mexico or other countries.
  • If the product was not purchased from a major retailer in these countries, or was unsealed upon purchase, urge patients to stop use immediately.
  • Ensure the skin cream container is tightly closed, isolated in a sealed bag, and labeled, “Mercury: Do Not Touch”.
  • Contact the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222 for queries about mercury poisoning medical management.

If a patient is suspected of using skin creams containing mercury, DSHS recommends healthcare providers conduct mercury analysis on blood and urine specimens.

Recommendations for Public:

People should only purchase skin care products in original, sealed containers sold by reputable retailers.

Individuals who believe they may have been exposed to mercury through skin creams should contact their healthcare provider, or the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222.

If individuals have skin cream products containing mercury in their home, then the closed containers should be discarded at a household hazardous waste facility. If there is not a household hazardous waste facility available in their community, then the product may be tightly closed, placed in a sealed and labeled bag, and discarded with household garbage.

To find a household hazardous waste facility near you, please visit:    https://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/assistance/hhw/hhw_contacts.pdf

For More Information:

To report cases, questions about proper disposal of products containing mercury, or for questions about medical management related to mercury poisoning, please contact:

Texas Poison Center Network
1-800-222-1222

or

DSHS Environmental Surveillance and Toxicology Branch
512-776-7268
epitox@dshs.texas.gov

Mercury in Skin Creams Fact Sheet

DSHS News Release

Sarah Breedlove … Millionaire 12/23/1867


This Child of Slaves Grew Up to Become America’s First Female Millionaire

Random Celebrity Article By on October 20, 2014

 

America is considered to be the “land of opportunity”. Historically, it’s the country people have run to in order to escape persecution, poor living conditions, or lack of opportunities somewhere else. However, for the large number of African people stolen from their homes, shipped across the Atlantic, and sold into slavery, America was anything but a land of opportunity. So it’s pretty darn incredible that America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, was the child of former slaves. Her story is one of perseverance, ingenuity, and triumph. If her amazing life doesn’t make you want to get off your butt and go make your dreams happen, than nothing will.

Madam C.J. Walker, also known as Sarah Breedlove, was born on December 23, 1867, just outside of Delta, Louisiana. She was born on the cotton plantation where her family had been enslaved. She held the distinction of being the first free-born child in the family. The youngest of five, she was the first person in her family born after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, by age 7, she was orphan. Both of her parents passed away within a year of each other. Their cause of death was not recorded. She was sent to live with her older sister in Mississippi, where it is believed she worked picking cotton and doing housework. Her life in Mississippi was anything but ideal, and though slavery had technically been abolished, most people in the South had yet to “get the memo”, as it were. She worked the same hours she would have worked as a slave and was paid a pittance. Then, she and her family members had to pay exorbitant fees to live in the very same shack that her sister had lived in while she was a slave. Making matters worse, was that her brother-in-law was physically abusive. Eventually, she couldn’t take it anymore. At 14, she married a man named Moses McWilliams, mostly in an effort to get away from her current living situation.

madame

The pair had a baby in 1885. Two years later, Moses passed away, and Sarah and her daughter A’Lelia moved to St. Louis to be closer to Sarah’s older brothers. Her brothers had found some success working as barbers. In St. Louis, she began working as a washerwoman. Her pay was only $1.50 per day. She used the majority of the money to pay for her daughter’s schooling, and also took whatever classes she could herself. She subsequently met and married Charles J. Walker. Mr. Walker worked in advertising and their relationship would prove to be a fortuitous one.

Due to a severe scalp condition, most likely caused by the lye-based products used to straighten her hair, Sarah Breedlove had begun to lose her hair in bunches. Whenever she had a spare moment in her kitchen, she began making her own hair care products, and experimenting with ways to treat her own scalp. A black woman named Annie Turnbo Malone heard about Sarah. Ms. Malone made and marketed her own line of African-American hair care products. She invited Sarah to come work for her as a commission agent. So Sarah, Charles, and A’Lelia relocated to Denver, Colorado and launched a hair care business under Ms. Malone. At the urging of her husband, Sarah changed her professional name to Madam C.J. Walker, and launched her business in earnest. Between her genuinely effective and well-made products and her husband’s advertising acumen, her business grew by leaps and bounds. The couple spent much of the early 1900s, traveling around selling her products all over the south. By 1908, she was able to go out on her own. She opened a factory and her own beauty school in Pittsburgh.

2

The company continued to grow, so Sarah, now Madam C.J., moved operations to Indianapolis. She began training a group of employees who were both salespeople and beauticians. Known as “Walker Agents“, these African-American entrepreneurs began selling her products all over the United States. She began sponsoring conventions, sales awards, and community events. She and her husband divorced in 1913, and rather than slowing her down, it seemed to galvanize her. She traveled to the Caribbean and Latin America, adding more and more “Walker Agents” to her roster and increasing her sales base. By this time, her daughter A’Lelia, had begun to take charge of some portions of operations. A’Lelia purchased prime real estate in Harlem and made it the new base of operations for Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing. As more responsibility was shifted to her daughter, Madam C.J. Walker began focusing on philanthropy and community improvement. She created scholarship funds, sponsored the building and maintenance of multiple homes for the elderly, donated large sums to both the NAACP and the National Conference on Lynching, and, in 1913, donated the largest amount of money by an African-American to the Indianapolis YMCA.

3

She built a home in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York sometime around 1916 or 1917, and passed away there in 1919, due to hypertension. She was 51 years old. She was the sole owner of Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing for most of its existence, and the company was worth over $1 million when she died. Additionally, she was worth close to $700,000 herself, separate from the company. That’s the equivalent of $13 million in today’s dollars. It was an astronomical amount in 1919.

At the time of her death in 1919, Madam C.J. Walker was the wealthiest African-American in the United States. She was also generally believed to the country’s first self-made female multi-millionaire. Assuming her net worth was approximately $2 million the year she died, that would be equivalent to $37 million today.

house

2

When she died, her will dictated that 2/3 of all future company profits be donated to charity from that point on. One third of her estate went to her daughter. Her home in Irvington-on-Hudson is now a registered landmark, and the arts center named after her in Indianapolis, the Walker Center, has become nationally famous.

Madam C.J. Walker, aka Sarah Breedlove, went from absolutely nothing, to wealthier than just about everyone else around her. Along the way, she made sure to give back to the community that supported her, and trained hundreds of “Walker Agents” about entrepreneurship, civic duty, and pride. She proved to an entire generation of African-Americans, many of whom had grown up enslaved, that success was possible. Historically and socially, the example she set has proven far more valuable than her millions of dollars.

The ugly truth about guns and domestic violence … a repost


Please click on the image above for more information

The truth about guns and domestic violence in America isn’t pretty. But if we want to make meaningful changes to our gun laws that will save lives, we have to face some shocking facts, including: Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries.American women should not be killed at such alarming rates. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an important moment to make sure that as many people as possible — our friends, family, and members of our communities — understand just how urgent this crisis is.Please share this graphic on Facebook and Twitter today:

Women in the US are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns that women in other high-income countries.

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Domestic violence in America is directly related to our weak gun laws that make it all too easy for abusers to get guns. We shouldn’t stand for this — and neither should our leaders in Congress.

The first step is to make sure everyone knows the facts.

Please share this graphic on Facebook or on Twitter today, and help make sure that your friends know just how bad this situation is.

Thanks for adding your voice,

Brina Milikowsky
Mayors Against Illegal Guns