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Member since: Tue Aug 28, 2012, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 20,515

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Justice for AJ, Mom of four murdered in Florida

Go Fund Me
Justice for Ajike "AJ" Owens and Her Children

Her story:

On Friday, June 2, 2023, Ajike "Aj" Owens, a devoted and loving mother of four, was tragically and unjustifiably murdered in an attempt to protect her children from racism and violence.

What Happened to AJ:

Ajike's children were playing in a field next to an Ocala apartment complex when an unidentified 58-year-old white woman reportedly began yelling at them and calling them racial slurs. The children left but accidentally left an iPad behind, which the woman took. When one of the children went to her residence to retrieve it, she threw it, hitting the boy and cracking the screen. After Ajike's children informed her of what happened, she walked across the street with her kids to speak with the woman. She knocked on the door, and at that point, the woman allegedly shot through the door, hitting Ajike, who later died from her injuries. The woman responsible has not yet been identified, arrested, or charged with anything by law enforcement.

About AJ:

Ajike Owens (affectionately known as AJ) graciously affected all she came into contact with her infectious personality. She had a smile that would light up the room. But most of all, she was known for how much she loved and absolutely lived for her four children. To say she loved her children unconditionally is an understatement. She was a single mother whose life centered around her children. She was the Team Mom for her children’s football/cheerleading teams. She excelled professionally as a manager in the Restaurant/Hospitality industry. She was a devoted Christian who believed in bringing her kids up in a supportive Christian environment. After being a devoted mother, she was a devoted friend that took friendships to heart. There wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for those near and dear to her heart. She often would give to other single mothers that were in similar situations that she’d been in.

How You Can Help:

1. Donate to this cause to support funeral and memorial expenses for AJ. (Goal Met)
2. Donate to contribute to AJ's children's education expenses.
3. Donate to contribute to Housing and all other living expenses for the family.

Justice for AJ and So Many Others: The Fight to End Stand Your Ground:

In 2023, we witnessed the shooting of Ralph Yarl and the killing of Kaylin Gillis as instances where the Stand Your Ground doctrine has emboldened individuals to use unnecessary violent force in the name of self-defense. This is yet another instance where the law could potentially come into play and erode justice.

AJ's family has partnered with activists and national advocacy groups to effect change on a national scale.


Please visit the site and look at the photos of her beautiful family. No doubt they are devastated and will suffer from the effects of this tragedy most likely for the rest of their lives.

Such a total waste of a life that was being lived so beautifully.

Posted by littlemissmartypants | Wed Jun 7, 2023, 07:56 AM (0 replies)

Gun Trauma Report by Everytown for Gun Safety Wear Orange Weekend, June 2-4.


Beyond Measure
Gun Violence Trauma


Executive Summary

“We just learn how to cope. Trauma never goes anywhere, and healing is an ongoing process—it’s just a lifelong process.”

—A gun violence survivor

The trauma of gun violence is immeasurable. Trauma can ripple beyond communities in the same geographic environment and reverberate throughout the nation to people with shared identities like race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and similar experiences with gun violence.

The impact of gun violence extends far beyond those killed or wounded. People may identify as survivors if they have witnessed acts of gun violence, experienced intimate partner violence with a firearm, been threatened with a gun, or had a loved one who has been shot and wounded, or killed—including by suicide with a gun.

When we think about gun violence as a public health epidemic, we often think about the numbers: Every day in the United States, 120 people are killed with guns and more than 200 are shot and wounded.1 But what are the experiences behind these metrics? How do survivors and their communities cope in the aftermath of gun violence? What are the immediate and lasting impacts of trauma from gun violence? An understanding of these questions cannot be gained with numbers alone. Far less attention has been dedicated to understanding the experiences of gun violence on survivors. For this reason, this study fills a critical gap in research by focusing on trauma from gun violence by listening to the voices and experiences of those directly impacted.

This report is divided into six sections. We discuss the aftermath of gun violence, the impacts of trauma on safety and fear, the ripple effects of gun violence and trauma in communities, support services to cope with trauma, post-traumatic growth, and recommendations to better support survivors of gun violence. We hope to honor the power of the voices of gun violence survivors by elevating their experiences, their stories, and their journeys.



America’s gun death rate is 13 times higher than that of other high-income countries.2 Every year, more than 43,000 Americans are killed with guns and approximately 76,000 more are shot and wounded.3 Everytown’s nationally representative survey shows that 59 percent of adults reported that they or someone they know or care about have experienced gun violence in their lifetime, and 41 percent of these adults say it has caused them trauma.4 This public health epidemic disproportionately impacts Black, Latinx, and other communities of color.

To better understand the breadth and depth of trauma experienced by survivors of gun violence, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund conducted focus groups5 with 103 survivors from January to March 2023. Participants had diverse identities, many of which have not been previously researched extensively, including bereaved parents, students over the age of 18, Latinx and Black communities, and LGBTQ+ people. Interview questions focused on survivors’ experiences of gun violence, the short- and long-term impacts of trauma, the ripple effects of trauma that families and communities experience, access to support services, and post-traumatic growth.

All of the survivors interviewed experienced trauma from gun violence. Trauma refers to the lasting adverse effects of an event or series of events. Living through this ordeal can change how one sees oneself and the world around them. The everyday emotional and physical responses from trauma include feelings of anxiety, fear, and hypervigilance. Despite this, some survivors experienced post-traumatic growth in their healing and recovery journey by seeing positive changes in their lives, such as personal growth and appreciation of life.

Gun violence survivors may experience multiple events of gun violence and are exposed to other events, such as intimate partner violence, community trauma, and childhood trauma. This study included 40 survivors who experienced multiple incidents of gun violence, and more than half of these survivors identified as Latinx and/or Black. The accumulation and interaction of many forms of violence, including gun violence, disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities, which can cause community trauma. This study highlights the urgency of preventing gun violence and interrupting cycles of violence by exploring these layers of harm.




Orange Weekend, June 2-4.
Attend Wear Orange 2023 - Find An Event


People around the country are coming together with a simple message: there's more we can do to end gun violence. Join the movement by signing up to attend an event during Wear Orange Weekend, June 2-4.

For more information about events in your area, please contact info@momsdemandaction.org.

If you have a media inquiry or would like to cover an Orange event, please contact press@everytown.org.


Posted by littlemissmartypants | Sat May 27, 2023, 07:46 PM (0 replies)

If you're furious with Tricia Cotham now, just wait until she...

Check out this thread at Thread Reader App. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1658861098664116226.html

If you’re furious with @triciacotham now, just wait until she votes to dismantle public education in North Carolina, and then goes back to being a lobbyist for charter schools.

That was always the plan. I’m guessing it started when she took over the AAC.*


She wants to weaken State Board of Education oversight of charter schools and give them tax payer money for property purchases and building renovations. And that’s what she’ll do before she leaves office.

Back in 2016, as she was preparing to leave the legislature, she was one of five Democrats to vote for a GOP bill that would allows a charter school management company to take over low-performing schools.

AAC was formed the following year. Cotham became President the year after.

AAC was hired by the State Board of Education to manage the low-performing school in the Robeson County town of Rowland.

They were hired despite the fact that they had little to no experience turning around low-performing schools or working with at-risk children.

Under Cotham’s leadership , the AAC failed to meet its contractual obligations in running Southside-Ashpole Elementary, to the detriment of its students.

Data showed students had made few academic gains. The school received a state performance grade of “F”.

This was the plan since Cotham returned to politics - weaken the public schools and promote charter schools. She ran as a Democrat and campaigned to protect access to abortion, but that was just a lie. She always planned to betray the people she represents.

Her move to the GOP was orchestrated from the start. It was not opportunistic. It was calculated. She never planned to run for re-election. She will go back to lobbying for charter schools and she’ll get a huge bonus for passing the abortion ban.

In January, before she switched parties, Tricia Cotham was one of the few Democrats who received top committee positions.

Speaker Tim Moore appointed her as chair of the K-12 education committee.

What better way to dismantle public education in NC?


In this video of @triciacotham avoiding questions - she doesn’t seem to have the smug, self righteous arrogance to lead this deception. I suspect someone’s pulling her strings.

She’s a hypocrite who lied and betrayed NC voters.

But she’s not alone,

I’m guessing it goes back to John Bryan. He’s been using his billions to manipulate NC politics for years.

@triciacotham was a lobbyist for Bryan’s TeamCFA when she worked at McGuire Woods. Then she replaced Tom Holten at AAC.

It’s all about the money.

@LindsayWagnerNC did a great job of following the money trail back in 2015

That was just about the time Cotham decided not to run for re-election.



And let’s not forget when she voted to gerrymander the N.C. Board of Education and hand it to Republicans.

This was February 7, a month after she assumed office (and months before she finally came clean about switching parties)

Post created by using tweets and the Thread Reader App.

*AAC stands for Achievement for All Children and you can read more about the recently formed organization here:

Posted by littlemissmartypants | Wed May 24, 2023, 12:44 AM (2 replies)

Bakhmut..then and now...

This is why President Zelenskyy says Bakhmut "is only in our hearts." Which was incorrectly interpreted to mean that Russia has complete control over it.

The UA has most definitely not surrendered it and Russian hasn't taken complete control there either.

If the Russians do prevail, after the longest battle in Ukraine, they will only have a completely ruined place to show for it.


And now...

Bakhmut was known for its underground and cave placed wineries and so much more.

High-resolution satellite imaging of city in eastern Ukraine lay bare its destruction after months of bombardment

by Matt Fidler
High-resolution satellite images published by Maxar provide stark insights into the destruction of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, caused by months of bombardment and fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces.

The images show Bakhmut from above in May 2022 and May 2023



Glory to the heroes.
❤️ pants
Posted by littlemissmartypants | Mon May 22, 2023, 07:22 PM (6 replies)

Biden can...should...ignore the GOP's debt suicide attempt


Biden can, and should, ignore the GOP’s debt suicide attempt


Conservative commentators have undertaken to pen apologetics for radicals. The subject? Our latest adventure in Republican-threatened financial suicide.

The results are surprising. And because these are likely the best spokespeople Republican extortionists will find, the attempted arguments call for engagement.

Take first, then, this remarkable would-be assurance: A minority of “House Republicans’ insistence on negotiations [about raising the debt ceiling] is not hostage taking,” but, “it is the ordinary stuff of politics.”

It is hard to fathom how anyone not either blissfully or willfully unaware of American budgetary history since 1974, not to say contract law and the U.S. Constitution, could so much as suggest such a thing.

For one thing, threatening default upon debt incurred by your own — that is Congress’s own — already legislated current budget in order to gain leverage you don’t democratically have over next year’s budget is anything but “ordinary.” It is overtly threatening the contract rights of literally millions of innocent people, not to mention our own Constitution and prior budget legislation. And it is doing so simply to get your way when you cannot convince your congressional colleagues of the merits of your own budgetary druthers.


Much, much more at the link.

*Robert Hockett is an American lawyer, law professor, and policy advocate. He holds two positions at Cornell University (the Edward Cornell Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and a Professor of Public Affairs), is senior counsel at investment firm Westwood Capital, LLC, and was a Fellow at The Century Foundation think tank. As of 2019, he is advising Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Green New Deal.

**Laurence Henry Tribe (born October 10, 1941) is an American legal scholar who is a University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He previously served as the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard Law School.

Notable former students include:
Barack Obama
Ted Cruz
John Roberts
Elena Kagan
Merrick Garland
Kathleen Sullivan and
Jamie Raskin

Hat Tip to sheshe2

who's post on the Bernie Sanders video


lead me here via Spoutable.


Thanks sheshe2, I love you. ❤️

Imo, this editorial is a true thing of beauty. Enjoy!


Posted by littlemissmartypants | Mon May 22, 2023, 04:43 PM (5 replies)

Governor Cooper SB 20 Veto Rally, Speeches by Planned Parenthood S. Atlantic & Others, 13 May 2023

NC Governor Roy Cooper vetoes new abortion bill SB 20, sends it back to General Assembly

Run time: 49:39


Produced by WCNC
Posted by littlemissmartypants | Sat May 13, 2023, 03:52 PM (1 replies)

Cousins in Poland getting ready for a night out ...



Start every day with a smile and get it over with.
Posted by littlemissmartypants | Wed May 10, 2023, 09:12 AM (6 replies)

On Voting

from days gone by from Lisa Koshy...

Very informative video on how to prepare for voting.

And this. Which probably deserves an update.

The same Lisa some may remember for being spotlighted for this gem of commentary.

Reference tweets:

Posted by littlemissmartypants | Mon May 1, 2023, 03:23 PM (0 replies)

The music...

Royksopp - Remind Me

Thanks for posting. ❤️
Posted by littlemissmartypants | Sun Apr 30, 2023, 11:11 AM (2 replies)

There's one in every crowd, apparently. Antidote forthcoming...

Posted by littlemissmartypants | Sat Apr 29, 2023, 02:42 AM (1 replies)
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