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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,733

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

Thich Nhat Hanh's final mindfulness lesson: How to die peacefully

Thich Nhat Hanh has done more than perhaps any Buddhist alive today to articulate and disseminate the core Buddhist teachings of mindfulness, kindness, and compassion to a broad global audience. The Vietnamese monk, who has written more than 100 books, is second only to the Dalai Lama in fame and influence.

Nhat Hanh made his name doing human rights and reconciliation work during the Vietnam War, which led Martin Luther King Jr. to nominate him for a Nobel Prize.

He’s considered the father of “engaged Buddhism,” a movement linking mindfulness practice with social action. He’s also built a network of monasteries and retreat centers in six countries around the world, including the United States.

In 2014, Nhat Hanh, who is now 93 years old, had a stroke at Plum Village, the monastery and retreat center in southwest France he founded in 1982 that was also his home base. Though he was unable to speak after the stroke, he continued to lead the community, using his left arm and facial expressions to communicate.

In October 2018, Nhat Hanh stunned his disciples by informing them that he would like to return home to Vietnam to pass his final days at the Tu Hieu root temple in Hue, where he became a monk in 1942 at age 16. (The New York Times reports that nine US senators visited him there in April.)

Passed to me by my brother, who calls himself a "Buddhapalian"

Page County woman charged after comments made at school board meeting

The Luray Police Department charged a woman who made a perceived threat at Thursday night’s Page County School Board meeting.

According to police, Amelia King, 42, was charged with a violation of the Code of Virginia 18.2-60 Oral Threat While on School Property.

The Page County School Board met Thursday night to vote in favor of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s executive order, making masks a choice for students.

During the public comment period, King said, “No mask mandates. My child, my children will not come to school on Monday with a mask on. Alright? That’s not happening. And I will bring every single gun loaded and ready.”


According to police, the magistrate has released Mrs. King on a $5,000.00 unsecured bond.


Oath Keepers Anticipated "a Bloody and Desperate Fight" to Overturn the Election for Trump

In the year since the January 6 insurrection, a steady accumulation of evidence from federal criminal investigations, congressional testimony, public video footage, and other sources has revealed that the attack on Congress incited by Donald Trump included numerous armed extremists. Some of the starkest details have emerged from the ongoing prosecution of defendants who identify as Oath Keepers, a far-right militia network founded by Stewart Rhodes, who is among a group of 11 people charged with seditious conspiracy against the US government.

In court filings this week, the Justice Department further revealed the scope of the alleged plot by Oath Keepers to mobilize heavily armed “quick reaction forces” (also known as “QRFs”) just outside of downtown Washington, part of a plan to unleash violence in the nation’s capital and stop the lawful transfer of the presidency to Joe Biden. One filing, a detention memo in the case against Oath Keeper Edwards Vallejo of Arizona, hints that more people could yet be charged in connection with the conspiracy. Evidence it contains also shows that extremists have embraced Trump’s most recent rhetoric reinforcing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him through fraud, messaging that continues to fuel a violent far-right movement.

Vallejo was arrested on January 13, as was Rhodes, the latest in a lengthy list of Oath Keepers facing conspiracy and sedition charges. According to the Justice Department, “Vallejo and his co-conspirators coordinated at least three regional QRF teams stationed at a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Virginia, to support the co-conspirators’ plot and the January 6 Capitol attack. The QRF teams guarded an arsenal of firearms and related equipment and were prepared to speed those weapons into the hands of co-conspirators on the ground in Washington, D.C., when directed by Rhodes or other conspiracy leaders.”

Shortly after the 2020 election, in an encrypted “Leadership Intel Chat” with fellow Oath Keepers, Rhodes had begun talking up “a civil war” and “a bloody and desperate fight” if Biden were to become president. Three days before the insurrection, prosecutors allege, Rhodes informed a co-conspirator by encrypted message, “We WILL have a QRF. This situation calls for it.” The alleged QRF plotters traveled to the nation’s capital from Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona, among other states, according to court documents:

These goddam traitors need to be rounded up and locked up in Leavenworth. Or Gitmo.

Wildlife YouTuber discovers new species of tarantula

A wildlife YouTuber from Thailand discovered the first tarantula known to exclusively live in hollowed-out bamboo stalks.

JoCho Sippawat, a YouTuber with 2.5 million subscribers and 1.9 million Facebook followers, found the previously unknown tarantula while on a wilderness trip near his home in northwestern Thailand, according to a Jan. 12 news release.

Upon returning, Sippawat emailed a photo of the tarantula to arachnologist Narin Chomphuphuang, who researches spiders at Khon Kaen University. Chomphuphuang then embarked on a field trip, with Sippawat and fellow arachnologist Chaowalit Songsangchote, to confirm that the tarantula was previously undiscovered.

Researchers determined that the spider belongs to a new genus and species. They named it Taksinus bambus, in honor of the 18th century Thai king Taksin the Great.


Religious women have abortions, too. And many faiths affirm abortion rights.

By Zahra Ayubi, associate professor of religion at Dartmouth College, Rebecca Todd Peters, professor of religious studies at Elon University, and Michal Raucher, assistant professor of Jewish studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick

The abortion debate is largely presented as a stark divide between secular people who support access to abortion care and religious people who oppose it. This false binary has obscured the diversity of religious positions on the issue, particularly of those who support abortion access. While Jewish support for abortion has been recognized on some occasions, support for abortion rights in Christianity, Islam and other religious traditions has largely been ignored.

With media attention trained on Friday’s March for Life in Washington and the upcoming anniversary of Roe v. Wade — perhaps the last, as an increasingly conservative Supreme Court might strike it down later this year — it’s important to correct this mistaken characterization of religious Americans’ views on abortion.

The focus on religious opposition to abortion overlooks the perspectives and religious commitments of the millions of people who have abortions in this country. Additionally, an imbalance in media coverage normalizes religious opposition to abortion, thus paving the way for particular theological beliefs to be codified into law. This ultimately denies the right of religious freedom to other faith communities whose beliefs about pregnancy, abortion and childbearing differ.

Robust media coverage of Christian opposition to abortion, in particular, has amplified the anti-choice Christian perspective in the public debate. But it’s actually a minority position; only 45 percent of all Christians think abortion should be illegal in most or all circumstances. The majority of white mainline Protestants (59 percent), Black Protestants (56 percent) and white Roman Catholics (52 percent) support legal access to abortion in all or most cases.

very thoughtful piece

Georgia pastor, wife charged with false imprisonment after people found in locked basement

A Georgia pastor and his wife were arrested on charges of false imprisonment after officials found up to eight people locked in their basement, police said.

Curtis Keith Bankston and Sophia Simm-Bankston were running the unlicensed "group home" out of their rented Griffin house "under the guise of a church known as One Step of Faith 2nd Chance," the Griffin Police Department said in a statement.

Griffin Fire last week responded to a call about someone having a seizure at the home and noticed a deadbolt on the basement door, according to police. Crews had to climb through a window to reach the patient.

Investigators determined the people in the basement, all with mental or physical disabilities, or both, were "essentially imprisoned against their will, which created an extreme hazard as the individuals could not exit the residence if there were an emergency," police said.


The Muslim Doctor Behind the First Cocaine-laced Pig-to-Human Heart Transplant

When Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin was growing up in the seaside city of Karachi in Pakistan, the word “pig” was taboo at home. Mentioning it even accidentally would have him punished and told to wash his mouth.

“My mother used to make me gargle,” Mohiuddin told VICE World News. “It was a big no-no in my family. It was forbidden in our home.” Mohiuddin would even accompany his father and brother to hunt wild pigs outside the bustling metropolis, in rural areas of the Sindh province.

Fast-forward decades and now the doctor is one of the pioneers behind the first genetically modified pig heart to be transplanted into a human body.

The groundbreaking surgery took place in the first week of the year at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Mohiuddin is their director of cardiac xenotransplantation, the process of transplanting a living heart from one species to another.

Led by Mohiuddin and Bartley P. Griffith, the director of the center’s cardiac transplant program, the latest procedure used a heart from a genetically altered pig supplied by Swedish biotech company Revivicor, and a rare immunosuppressive agent. The recipient of the heart is a 57-year-old man, currently in recovery.

Please do not use this thread to bash religion or argue "animal rights". Thank you.

'People Need to Know She Sucks': Kyrsten Sinema's Volunteers, Ex-Staff Are Fed Up

When Maria-Elena Dunn first met Kyrsten Sinema, she said she was elated.

Dunn, a leader in the local chapter of the Indivisible progressive activist group in Prescott, Arizona, was introduced to Sinema at a campaign event and was blown away by the Senate candidate’s poise and her impressive life story. Her group hosted Sinema multiple times for events. Dunn volunteered, by her estimation, for more than 100 hours to elect Sinema and other Democrats that election cycle.

“I was very impressed. I had literature, I did canvassing for her, I contributed, I campaigned. We did everything we possibly could to get her elected. We were very excited about her. We knew she was a Democrat who had centrist tendencies, and that wasn’t a bad thing. Here in Arizona and especially our area, you have to be realistic over who you could elect. We were thrilled. She seemed like the real thing,” she told VICE News.

But now?

“I’m livid. I can only call her a turncoat,” Dunn said. “I feel betrayed.”

Sinema’s Wednesday vote against changing the filibuster, which kept the 60-vote margin for most major bills and effectively killed Democrats’ efforts to pass voting rights legislation, is the latest in a long line of votes that have enraged and upset some of the people who worked hard to put her in office. Dunn said for her, it was the “last straw.”


A Judge Tried to Deny a Teen's Abortion Partly Because of Her GPA

A Florida circuit judge tried to block a 17-year-old high school student from getting an abortion because, in part, the judge thought her GPA was too low.

The 17-year-old, known as “Jane Doe” in court papers, successfully appealed the circuit judge’s ruling this week. In a 2-1 ruling in the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, the panel of judges found that Doe was mature enough to earn what’s known as a “judicial bypass,” an arduous legal process that lets minors get abortions without involving their parents.

In his original ruling, Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Jared E. Smith focused on the fact that Doe had originally said she made “B” grades, but her current GPA is 2.0.

“Clearly, a ‘B’ average would not equate to a 2.0 GPA,” Smith wrote. Doe’s “testimony evinces either a lack of intelligence or credibility, either of which weigh against a finding of maturity pursuant to the statute.”

But a ruling written by Judge Darryl Casanueva and joined by Judge Susan Rothstein-Youakim pointed out that if Doe is making “Bs,” then her current GPA may not reflect her newer grades. And, in any case, “we observe a ‘C’ average demonstrates average intelligence for a high school student,” Casanueva wrote. “The evidence certainly did not show that her overall intelligence was ‘less than average.’”

Her current GPA couldn't possibly reflect her emotional stress due to all this......Nah....

Texas went big on oil. Earthquakes followed.

It’s been a big winter for earthquakes in West Texas. A string of small tremors rocked Midland County on December 15 and 16, followed a week later by a magnitude-4.5 quake, the second-strongest to hit the region in the last decade. Then a magnitude-4.2 quake shook the town of Stanton and another series of small earthquakes hit nearby Reeves County.

That’s an unsettling pattern for a state that, until recently, wasn’t an earthquake state at all. Before 2008, Texans experienced just one or two perceptible earthquakes a year. But Texas now sees hundreds of yearly earthquakes of at least magnitude 2.5, the minimum humans can feel, and thousands of smaller ones.

The reason why is disconcerting: Seismologists say that one of the state’s biggest industries is upsetting a delicate balance deep underground. They blame the oil and gas business — and particularly a technique called wastewater injection — for waking up ancient fault lines, turning a historically stable region into a shaky one, and opening the door to larger earthquakes that Texas might not be ready for.

The state is finally trying to change that. In December, the Texas Railroad Commission — the state agency that regulates oil and gas operations and no longer has anything to do with railroads — suspended wastewater injection at 33 sites across a region where more than half a million people live. This is a notable turnaround for the Railroad Commission, which until recently did not acknowledge a link between oil and gas operations and earthquakes, and might be a sign of just how serious the earthquakes have gotten.

Texass. And damn Big Oil. (Also Oklahoma)
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