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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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Leonard Pitts Jr.: In pandemic fight, distrust is killing Black Americans

In pandemic fight, distrust is killing Black Americans | Opinion
Leonard Pitts Jr.

They told them they had bad blood.

What they actually had was syphilis, but the U.S. Public Health Service never shared that diagnosis with the almost 400 African American men, most of them poor and under-educated sharecroppers, they recruited for a secret study at Tuskegee Institute in 1932. Indeed, health officials did little for those men for 40 years, except watch the progression of the disease.

That was the goal of the study: to see what happens when syphilis is left unchecked. And they did see. Syphilis is a venereal disease that can lead to paralysis, blindness, deafness, dementia, heart trouble, brain damage and death.

People often point to the so-called Tuskegee Experiment to explain why African Americans tend to mistrust the medical establishment, but while what happened in Alabama was obscene, it was hardly unique. To the contrary, from experimental procedures on the vaginas of enslaved women to grave robbers stealing Black bodies for use in medical schools, from forced sterilization in the name of eugenics to new mother Serena Williams having to battle doctors and nurses who ignored her as she suffered a life-threatening medical emergency, Black people have been routinely betrayed by this profession whose prime directive is, “First, do no harm.” So the mistrust is grounded in hard experience.


My boys and I, we do this dance. They give me their reasons for not getting the shot, I give them rebuttals.

It was developed too fast, they say. It’s called an emergency, I say; you get out of the house faster when it’s burning.

I don’t know what’s in it, they say. You don’t know what’s in Cheez Whiz, I say, but that doesn’t stop you from eating it.

There may be side effects to taking it, they say. Well, the side effect to not taking it could be death. .............(more)


Mike Lindell promised Dominion voting machines -- but he doesn't have any

(Salon) SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has promised for months since the 2020 election that he had obtained Dominion, Smartmatic and ES&S voting machines, and they would be on full display at his "cyber symposium" here last week. But that event has now come and gone with no voting machines of any kind on display. Instead, a readily available commercial scanner was the only device present.

Going back at least as far as May, Lindell has repeatedly promised to show off his voting machines at his South Dakota gathering, assuring Salon that he had "multiple" such devices in his possession, and they would somehow prove that the 2020 election had been stolen from Donald Trump.

"We got the machines, Dominion!" Lindell proudly declared in May, adding that he looked forward to cracking them open. "We got all these machines!"

In July, the pillow king again told Salon, "We've had machines for, I don't know, months now. You realize you can buy them on eBay, right?" Lindell additionally promised the voting machines "absolutely" would be present at his Sioux Falls event this past week.

Yet over the course of the three-day "symposium," no voting machines made by Dominion, Smartmatic, ES&S or any other company ever appeared. Instead, Lindell aides used an ordinary commercial scanner — a readily available office machine — to demonstrate how an alleged hack originating from "China" could hypothetically have occurred. ..........(more)


Florida man arrested for making threats against Walt Disney World on social media, deputies say

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida man has been arrested after he made threats toward Walt Disney World and Disney executives on social media, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said 31-year-old Steven Jordan created a Twitter account on August 8 and made a total of 186 tweets within a three-hour period.

According to detectives, two of these tweets were directed at Walt Disney World and stated, “@Disney or we will blow up all of your execs houses with C4” and “@Disney I will toss a hand grenade threw their loft window.”

Deputies said there were several other tweets directed toward Activision Games against their video games, derogatory comments about their executives and other current litigation issues. ...............(more)


Census data reveals the real reason why the GOP is ramping up its war on democracy

(Salon) Donald Trump, who never met a fact or figure he didn't want to distort, desperately wanted to prevent the Census Bureau from getting an accurate count of the people living in America. So his administration pursued "policies that suppress the count among hard-to-count communities — including immigrants, people of color, low-income individuals, and those in rural areas — and effectively disenfranchise them," according to a 2020 report by Vox and the Center for Public Integrity. The Trump administration implemented strategies that were cooked up by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group, due to their advocacy for immigration policies aimed quite overtly at preserving white supremacy in the U.S.

It's hard to know for sure how successful the Trump administration was at undercounting the non-white population in the U.S. — it's not like there's another, stronger set of data to compare the census to. But we now know that Trump failed at concealing the fact that the United States is becoming more cosmopolitan and racially diverse.

Newly released data from the 2020 census shows that that the white population actually shrunk in absolute numbers for the first time in U.S. history. Meanwhile, Black, Latino, and Asian populations got bigger. The result is that white people are now only 58% of the population, down from nearly 70% when George W. Bush was elected in 2000. While not surprising, such a precipitous drop is shocking nonetheless. Additionally, people are leaving rural areas behind to pack into urban centers.

Trump reacted to losing the 2020 election by attempting a coup that got to the point of inciting a violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. But despite having to run for their lives from Trump's mob on January 6, Republican politicians in Congress like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and former Vice President Mike Pence continue to kiss Trump's ring. Even those who don't hide their disgust for Trump very well, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., still do everything they can to cover for him and set him up to run in 2024. In the Beltway press, it is fashionable to ascribe this masochistic display of fealty to Trump to "fear." Republicans, we're told, are afraid of Trump, knowing that he's still beloved by the GOP base and that he can turn the masses against them with the drop of, well, not a tweet, but maybe an angry rant on Fox News. ...........(more)


Louie Gohmert, unintentional comedian

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Thursday warned of the many dangers in passing the bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill -- including funding solar power plants that will purportedly cause an epidemic of exploding birds.

In an interview with far-right One America News, Gohmert outlined his objections to the infrastructure plan before uncorking an angry rant about solar farms in particular.

"Another part of that Green Deal is the huge solar farm that they have out on the border of California and Nevada," he said. "Thousands of acres of concave mirrors that magnify the sun toward three towers that heat up the liquid in there and turn turbines."


He then decried the supposed negative impact that this plant has on local bird populations. .................(more)


3 brothers die after passing out from fumes in manure pit

By The Associated Press

ST. HENRY, Ohio — Three brothers who were trapped in a manure pit on their livestock farm after being overcome by fumes have died, authorities said.

Rescue crews found the men unconscious and unable to move in the pit Tuesday afternoon. They were fixing a manure pump before they passed out from the fumes, St. Henry fire Chief Matt Lefeld said.

Authorities identified the victims as Gary, Todd and Brad Wuebker. All three were taken to area hospitals and later pronounced dead. .......(more)


Providing Investigators With 'Thousands of Photos and Videos' Probably Doesn't Bode Well for Gaetz

Joel Greenberg Providing Investigators With ‘Thousands of Photos and Videos’ Probably Doesn’t Bode Well for Matt Gaetz

(Rolling Stone) Matt Gaetz’s career in Congress, and life as a free man in America, has been in danger since it was revealed in March that the notably coiffed MAGA icon is under federal investigation for sex trafficking a minor. This danger became a little more acute a few months later when Joel Greenberg, Gaetz’s former running buddy who pleaded guilty to sex trafficking the same minor, agreed to cooperate with federal investigators. ABC News reported on Thursday that Greenberg’s cooperation has been … quite extensive.

The information Greenberg has provided to investigators reportedly includes “years of Venmo and Cash App transactions and thousands of photos and videos, as well as access to personal social media accounts.” Much of this potential evidence pertains to Greenberg’s relationship with Gaetz, and could aid investigators looking into the Florida congressman.

In pleading guilty to 6 of the 33 federal charges against him, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old, Greenberg noted that he “introduced the minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts.” Greenberg did not specify whether one of those adult men was Gaetz, although reporting has indicated this could be the case. In April, The Daily Beast obtained a letter in which Greenberg claimed he and Gaetz both paid to have sex with a minor. The Daily Beast also obtained a slew of Venmo transactions between Greenberg and Gaetz and between Greenberg and the 17-year-old in question.

Gaetz has repeatedly denied he had sexual contact with anyone under age, but the fact that Greenberg, who has claimed to the contrary, is funneling this much potential evidence to investigators probably doesn’t bode well for the congressman. ............(more)


Harris County to file lawsuit challenging Gov. Abbott's executive ban on mask mandates

HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Tuesday night that the county has authorized the Harris County attorney to file a lawsuit challenging Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates.

Abbott’s order, issued in the spring when coronavirus cases were on the decline, limits school officials’ ability to respond to the pandemic, which at the moment is in the middle of what some health experts are calling the fourth wave. With the delta variant being more infectious, cases are on the rise and more children are being sent to hospitals.

Hidalgo said Tuesday that the county is filing the suit following concerns from multiple school leaders, and the fourth wave of the coronavirus.

“First responders and school leaders are speaking out and standing up as Delta ravages our community. We have their back,” Hidalgo tweeted. ............(more)


Sweet Jesus I hate Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., is still holding up President Biden's nomination process with a "death grip," blocking dozens of State Department nominees just ahead of the Senate's summer recess, according to Politico sources.

The now weeks-long conflict reached a fever pitch during a Wednesday all-night session led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., both of whom attempted to quickly usher each nominee in before the Senate break. But their effort saw strong resistance from Cruz, who effectively shot down the confirmation of every nominee.

"I know the hour is late, but we have nearly 30 highly qualified foreign affairs and development nominees who are languishing on the Senate floor," Menendez said during the 50-minute slog. "We have to confirm these nominees to fully equip the United States to pursue our foreign policy objectives." ..............(more)


Florida man stole forklift, pickup, four-wheeler (and more) in 'impressive crime spree,':deputies

A Florida man was very busy Tuesday after he went on what the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office calls an “impressive crime spree” that involved at least four stolen vehicles and property damage.

Volusia County deputies said they were called out to the Pierson area Tuesday morning for a report of a crash at U.S. Highway 17 and Palmetto Avenue. Deputies discovered a stolen Ford F-150 truck stuck in the mud up to the tailgate, body camera video shows. No one was inside the truck and deputies said it was stolen from Marion County.

While investigating the abandoned truck, deputies were flagged down by witnesses who reported two buildings were broken into and another Ford F-150 and a forklift were stolen. The forklift was driven around until it ran out of gas, according to the arrest report. The suspect then stole the Ford F-150 and drove off, crashing it in the woods. Deputies said the catalytic converter had been cut from the truck when it was discovered.

Then, deputies got another tip about a burglary and a stolen car. At that residence, the victims said the suspect took the keys from the garage, and a pair of shoes and stole a car. .....................(more)


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