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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,729

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

Thousands signal they want Trump-loving school board member removed from office

A petition drive to remove a Republican official from a Michigan school board netted more than enough signatures.

Committee for School Board Integrity announced Tuesday morning that they had gathered more than 4,100 signatures seeking a recall election for Matthew Smith from the Davison Board of Education, reported MLive.com.

The committee needed 3,698 signatures, or 25 percent of the votes cast in Davison for all candidates in the last gubernatorial election.

Smith, the Genesee County GOP chairman and a 2020 delegate for Donald Trump, was sentenced to probation Jan. 11 for a harassing phone call he made to Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly in March 2020.


America leads wealthy countries in maternal deaths. Our local data could change that.

Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet and Sema Sgaier

The recent Biden-Harris Maternal Health Day of Action focused the nation’s attention on shameful and inexcusable facts about the health and survival of our mothers. Not only is America’s overall maternal mortality rate the highest among wealthy nations, death occurs more than twice as often for Black, American Indian and Alaska Native women.

The day saw dozens of organizations, including ours, make significant commitments to act, but how do we increase the chances that these actions will help reverse decades-long trends of worsening health inequities?

We need to go local – hyperlocal. To solve the crisis, we must understand the interplay of local factors contributing to maternal deaths and use that precise knowledge to target local action.

We know that social and environmental factors play a significant role. Black women are 1.6 times more likely than white women, and American Indian and Alaska Native women are 2.6 times more likely, to live in conditions that are not conducive to optimal maternal health.

But what exactly are those conditions, how do they differ across regions and communities, and how important are they for moving the needle?


A massive asteroid will pass by Earth on Tuesday

A "potentially hazardous" asteroid bigger than any building in the world will pass by Earth on Tuesday. Not only is it the biggest known asteroid coming within 2.3 million miles of Earth this year, but it's so massive that you might be able to see it in the sky.

The asteroid, named 1994 PC1, has an estimated width of 3,600 feet, nearly 1,000 feet longer than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world. There are over 27,000 known near-Earth objects, which are any space debris that comes within 120.8 million miles of Earth. However, 1994 PC1 is one of 885 near-Earth objects at least 3,280 feet wide. It is one of several massive asteroids to pass by Earth in recent weeks.

First discovered in Aug. 1994, 1994 PC1 is classified as a "potentially hazardous" asteroid because it is an Apollo asteroid, meaning it crosses Earth's orbit.

If it were to hit Earth, it would cause "complete catastrophe" and destroy nearly everything within a 25 mile radius of the impact, says Franck Marchis, Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar and Senior Planetary Astronomer at the SETI Institute.


Backlash swells over Peace Corps worker's role in death...

The mother of a man killed in a 2019 car crash involving an American woman who left the United Kingdom and avoided prosecution said she was stunned to learn a similar incident occurred just days before in Africa. In that case, U.S. officials whisked from Tanzania a Peace Corps employee who killed a mother of three in a car crash after drinking at a bar and bringing a sex worker back to his home.

Charlotte Charles — whose 19-year-old son Harry Dunn died when the wife of a U.S. State Department employee driving on the wrong side of the road struck him with her car — called U.S. officials “barbaric” for helping Peace Corps employee John M. Peterson avoid prosecution in Tanzania after he fatally struck Rabia Issa. The U.S. Department of Justice has also declined to pursue charges against Peterson, citing a lack of jurisdiction.

“My heart really hurts for that family,” Charles told USA TODAY. “I know what it's like to feel completely abandoned by the U.S. government. I know what it's like to have my child or, in their circumstances, a family member, just swept under the carpet. Like their life didn't matter. Like we mean absolutely nothing in comparison to the U.S. government.”

Although Dunn’s case drew international attention and caused diplomatic tensions between the United States and British governments, Issa’s August 2019 death three days prior remained almost completely hidden. The only public accounting of the incident was tucked in a routine Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General report to Congress last year that didn’t name Peterson, Issa or even the country where the incident occurred.

This is WRONG. Peterson did NOT have diplomatic immunity!

Matt Gaetz's Ex-Girlfriend Got Immunity in Sex Trafficking Probe: Report

The former girlfriend of Rep. Matt Gaetz testified in a federal sex trafficking probe involving the GOP congressman last week and, according to CBS News, she received immunity before doing so.

Gaetz has reportedly been under investigation for potential child sex trafficking for more than a year, although the DOJ has yet to officially acknowledge that he’s under investigation.

The investigation centers around Gaetz’s relationship with a woman who was 17 at the time, and whether Gaetz gave the teenager money or goods in exchange for sex.

Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, who has not been publicly named and reportedly dated Gaetz during the time when he had the alleged sexual relationship at the center of the investigation, testified last week to a federal grand jury in Orlando.

If this has been posted previously, I apologize. It's so delicious it bears repeating

The secret of Arctic 'survival parenting'

Every year in June or July, under the Arctic midnight sun, Sámi reindeer-herding families in northern Finland, Norway and Sweden come together for one of the biggest social events of the year: "earmarking", which involves marking the new reindeer calves to identify them.

On foot, in all-terrain vehicles and even helicopters, they gather the semi-wild reindeer from vast areas stretching out dozens of square kilometres. Even young children are expected to join in. The youngest boys and girls help catch the calves. From the age of about 10, they take their own earmarking knives, grab a calf, and mark both ears with a unique pattern of notches. Children receive their own personal earmark pattern at birth, and use it to mark their herds for the rest of their lives.

Among the Sámi, an indigenous people spread across the northernmost regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia's Kola Peninsula, children not only participate in herding work, but are also encouraged to act independently in most other areas of life. They have a say in deciding when to eat, when to sleep, and what to wear, even at temperatures of -30C (-22F). To outsiders, that independence can be surprising. Missionaries who visited the Arctic in the 18th Century and later, wrote in their diaries that it seemed like Sámi children could do whatever they liked, and that they lacked discipline altogether.

However, as research increasingly reveals, the seemingly rule-free Sámi way of child-rearing has its own intricate structure and philosophy. Over time, this unique parenting style has evolved to prepare children to cope with the extreme challenges of life in the Arctic – and foster a particular kind of resilience.

One of its guiding principles is that rather than following a fixed schedule, the whole family adapts to whatever tasks need to be carried out, be that earmarking, travelling or other joint activities. Within that framework, children make their own choices.

We down here might learn a lot from the Sami.....

Genetic risk factor found for Covid-19 smell and taste loss, researchers say

Scientists are piecing together why some people lose their sense of smell after contracting Covid-19.

A study published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics identified a genetic risk factor associated with the loss of smell after a Covid infection, a discovery that brings experts closer to understanding the perplexing pattern and may point the way toward much-needed treatments.

Six months after contracting Covid, as many as 1.6 million people in the United States are still unable to smell or have experienced a change in their ability to smell. The precise cause of sensory loss related to Covid is not known, but scientists do think it stems from damage to infected cells in a part of the nose called the olfactory epithelium. These cells protect olfactory neurons, which help humans smell.

“How we get from infection to smell loss remains unclear,” said Dr. Justin Turner, an associate professor of otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University who was not a part of the study.

I couldn't smell or taste while I had it, but it didn't persist after like it does with some.

Kentucky candle factory that threatened to fire workers during tornado is closing

A Kentucky candle factory that was destroyed by a killer tornado — and where workers said they were threatened with dismissal if they left their posts before it hit — is closing and half the employees are being laid off.

Mayfield Consumer Products said in a Jan. 10 filing under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that it plans to shift the remaining 250 or so workers to a new plant in the nearby town of Hickory that will be "up and running as soon as practical."

"Although many employees are being offered a transfer to the HP facility, there will not be room for the entire population to move to Hickory Point," plant manager Michael Staten said in the notice. "Those employees not offered a transfer to the new facility will be laid off."He said the company expects "all layoffs in Mayfield to be permanent."

Company spokesman Bob Ferguson later told The Louisville Courier Journal, which first broke the news about the layoffs, that the company is "committed to the rehiring of everyone and to meeting or exceeding the employment levels it had prior to the tornado.”

This is what happens in right-to-slave states.

The part of MLK's legacy that politicians today conveniently like to forget

Martin Luther King Jr. is a symbol of peace, justice and nonviolence, but he is often misquoted, misunderstood and invoked for nefarious purposes that have nothing to do with his legacy. While many like to speak of King's "dream" and his commitment to peace, part of remembering him means understanding his belief that society has a responsibility to disobey unjust laws. And right now in America, we have become the land of unjust laws and policies — from voter suppression to bans on teaching race and racism.

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King said we have a duty to disobey unjust laws. "I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws," he wrote. "Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all.'"

What is an unjust law? According to King, it's one that degrades rather than uplifts humanity. Jim Crow segregation statutes were a prime example of unjust laws because "segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality," as King noted. "It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority."

A law is also unjust if a numerical majority or a power majority imposes it on a minority yet the majority does not have to follow the law. King used specific examples to make his point.

Internationally, he pointed to Germany, writing: "We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal.' ... It was 'illegal' to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany."


Revealed: the Flint water poisoning charges that never came to light

A team of prosecutors and investigators leading the investigation into the Flint water crisis from 2016 through 2018 were assembling a racketeering case against the architects of a bond deal that residents and experts say sparked the health disaster, sources familiar with the criminal investigation have told the Guardian.

The case – which would have come under the Rico (racketeer-influenced and corrupt organizations) laws often used to charge organized crime groups – was widespread and set to implicate additional state officials who played a role in the poisoning of Flint, according to these sources.

But when the team was suddenly broken up and the investigation restarted with a new set of investigators, the Rico case never materialized.

What happened? Critics point to the Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel.

Running to replace the term-limited Republican attorney general Bill Schuette in 2018, Nessel, a Democrat, criticized the Flint criminal investigation under Schuette as “politically charged show trials” and campaigned on revamping the investigation. Shortly after Nessel won the attorney general race and took office, her administration fired the top prosecutors and investigators working on the Schuette-launched investigation and restarted the prosecution with a new team.

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