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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,728

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

Iowa town translates its diverse population into a majority Latino city council

When people drive into Iowa’s first majority Latino city, the first thing they’ll see is a building with an enormous mural. It declares ‘you belong here,’ on the left. ‘Tú perteneces aquí in Spanish on the right.

Two-term city councilman Jose Zacarias meets his old friend Tar Macias outside about a block away. They chat about the history of the town as they make their way up the street bundled in hats, jackets and gloves. Macias has been delivering his bilingual newspaper Hola Iowa to the town for about 20 years.

“Okay this is Main Street," Zacarias gestures to the long pathway of businesses.

Macias points to a building, "The coffee shop we were at, correct me if I’m wrong, this used to be a pharmacy?"

Zacarias answers yes without delay.


MLK Isn't the Only Black Baptist Hero Being Honored Today

As Americans observe the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., many Africans will be observing the legacy of their own Baptist crusader for racial justice, the Rev. John Chilembwe.

King and Chilembwe both led institutions influenced by the National Baptist Convention, a 19th-century network of African American churches with a missionary zeal.

The poignant history of MLK’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta has been oft-told: in 1886, John A. Parker, an ex-slave, persuaded a small group of friends to gather for fellowship at a stone marker known as the “Ebenezer.” In 1894, he was succeeded by pastor Adam Daniel “A.D.” Williams, a child of slaves who espoused a program of self-determination inspired by the social gospels and the bootstrap ideals of Booker T. Washington. He urged members to “get a piece of the turf.”

Williams was followed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. in 1931. He married Williams’ daughter, Alberta Christine, and led Ebenezer until 1975—eventually sharing pastoral duties with his son, MLK Jr., until the latter’s assassination in 1968. (Last January, Ebenezer Baptist made history by helping to catapult its pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, to the U.S. Senate in a special election. Warnock became the first Black Senator from GA and is running for re-election to a full term in November.)

The story of John Chilembwe began around the same time as the founding of the Ebenezer. He was born about 1871 in a location of southern Africa known for slave trading by African Muslim tribal groups, Arabs, and Portuguese sea captains. His father was a part of the Muslim group; his mother was related to indigenous people from the interior region of mountains and lakes.


Why ending illegal pregnancy discrimination is so hard

In 2018, Annika moved to a new job at a bank in Germany, to lead a risk management team. Six weeks later, she told the company she was pregnant. She offered to continue working up until she gave birth, even though she was legally entitled to go on paid leave well before then.

She reports her manager quickly switching from pleasant to harsh. She says he started to question her competence, and complained to other colleagues about her pregnancy. “I slowly started to lose my nerve because the atmosphere became rather poisoned, and I really started to question myself.”

When he started talking about firing her, she found a lawyer. This led to a year’s worth of negotiations about a severance package. “The company was hoping I would quit by myself,” Annika, now 34, explains. “During my pregnancy I was pretty scared of the financial impact of getting fired and the impact on my career. I had a pretty bad nervous breakdown and couldn’t stop crying for three months.”

Discrimination due to pregnancy – like Annika experienced – is sadly common around the world. Even though it’s illegal in many nations, employers continue to demote, penalise or fire employees around the period of pregnancy. The discrimination can be overt or subtle, and in many cases structures and frameworks created to help women tackle it end up letting them down. This can have resounding psychological and financial impacts, in addition to the damage inflicted on their professional lives.

This article speaks of many nations. I invite your experiences.

How quick thinking stopped a ransomware attack from crippling a Florida hospital

It was approaching midnight on Sunday and the head of IT at a Florida hospital had a problem.

The emergency room of Jackson Hospital, a 100-bed facility on Florida's panhandle, called to report that it couldn't connect to the charting system that doctors use to look up patients' medical histories. Jamie Hussey, Jackson Hospital's IT director, soon realized that the charting software, which was maintained by an outside vendor, was infected with ransomware and that he didn't have much time to keep the computer virus from spreading.
The hospital shut down its computer systems on his advice.
"If we hadn't stopped it, it probably would've spread out through the entire hospital," Hussey said. Hospital staff ditched the electronic records and reverted to pen and paper to keep the hospital running and organized, he said, but patient care wasn't disrupted.
As Hussey spoke to CNN Tuesday, the hospital's IT systems were gradually coming online, and he was expecting phone calls from the FBI (which investigates hacking incidents) and Aon, a cybersecurity consultancy that Hussey said was supporting the recovery. He was trying to figure out if the hackers had stolen any hospital data, and if they might need to be paid off to get it back.


Portland Releases Police Training Material That Encouraged Beating Protesters

Portland, Oregon’s mayor announced just before the weekend that the city’s police department is investigating itself over a training presentation featuring a meme encouraging cops to use violence against left-wing protesters.

The meme shows an officer in riot gear beating a protester described as a “dirty hippy.” The message, addressed to demonstrators in the form of mock Bible verses, suggests officers would “christen your heads with hickory, And anoint your faces with pepper spray.”

“And once thou hast been cuffed and stuffed; Once though hast been stitched and bandaged,” it continued, “Perhaps thou shall learn, I’m tired of your shit. Amen.”

The department said it began looking into the training presentation in September after the image was discovered during a legal review. But it wasn’t until late on Friday that Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office alerted the public and published the presentation, noting that it would soon be released in the course of a lawsuit over the city’s response to racial justice protests in the summer of 2020.


Why the indictment of Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes should scare a lot of people

By Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard and Dennis Aftergut, former federal prosecutor

We’ve reached a turning point on the road to accountability for those who led the Jan. 6 insurrection, whether they stormed the physical congressional barricades or not.

On Jan. 13, the Justice Department indicted 56-year-old Stewart Rhodes, head of the extremist group the Oath Keepers, and 10 others whom prosecutors say were the tip of the spear of the Capitol riot. The monumental lead count of the 17-count indictment alleges that he and his co-defendants, along with unnamed others, were part of a “seditious conspiracy.”

That crime is, in effect, treason’s sibling. Under 18 USC §2384, seditious conspiracy is an attempt “to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or... by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.” It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

This historic indictment creates an enormous incentive for the defendants to cooperate with the government and help fulfill Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Jan. 5 commitment to hold “all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.” Four other Oath Keepers (at least) are already cooperating.

Recommended reading!

13-year-old dies from suspected fentanyl overdose in Connecticut, police say

A 13-year-old who was hospitalized Thursday following apparent exposure to fentanyl at a Connecticut middle school died Saturday, authorities said.

Hartford police indicated "proximity" to and "contact with" synthetic opioid fentanyl by the unidentified teenager and two others triggered overdose reactions, although experts have long expressed doubt about such a scenario.

Hartford police said the student's death was the result of an overdose, and that it that was under investigation.

"The 13-year-old male juvenile succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased," the department said in a statement.

The victim became unconscious Thursday morning at the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy, a public prep and magnet school, authorities said. CPR was administered and he was hospitalized in what police described as "guarded condition."

And the school did not have Narcan available? WHY NOT?

Love meat too much for Veganuary? Try Regenuary instead

With Veganuary expected to reach more than 2 million sign-ups globally since its launch in 2014, the 31-day plant-based pledge is once again making headlines this January as food manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants cater to the movement. But for people wanting to eat more sustainably, yet not willing to cut out meat completely, there is another consumer challenge to try: Regenuary.

The idea for people to source as much food as possible from producers who use regenerative farming methods was hatched three years ago by Glen Burrows, co-founder of the Ethical Butcher, who was a vegetarian for 25 years because he didn’t like the way meat was produced. “Back in 1989, being a vegetarian was basically like being a Martian,” he says. “I became that awkward guy at dinner parties and slightly enjoyed that moral smugness, but then after a long period of time, I wasn’t that well. It wasn’t suiting me.”

So he started eating meat again. “It was like a life-force had been switched back on … I was going for my second black belt in martial arts.” He particularly likes offal. “For me, it’s almost like doing drugs.”

Burrows’ aim with Regenuary is to get people thinking more about how their food is produced. “The whole point of the movement is to think more about the impact of their food choices, and stop the oversimplified narrative that all plant-based foods are better than animal-based,” he says.

Please read the whole article before responding. Note: I don't "Veganuary"; I'm Orthodox and do Great Lent, which is longer and harder.

Look around you. The way we live explains why we are increasingly polarized

“The border’s like our back door,” a concrete salesman named Chris told me in January 2017. “You leave it open, and anyone can walk right in.” It was the day of Trump’s presidential inauguration, and we were chatting on the exhibition floor of a trade show in Las Vegas, called World of Concrete. Circular saws, cement mixers, gleaming new trucks – it was an unusual place to talk about the politics of immigration.

But the simple promise of a concrete wall between the US and Mexico had flung a business tycoon into the White House, and I wanted to understand what this was about.

Chris was a millennial from a small town in western Ohio. With a trim beard and short, sandy hair, he projected an air of casual self-sufficiency. “I don’t really like neighbors,” he quipped, speaking with a dose of wry humor about how far he chose to live from other people.

I was struck by the mismatch between the salesman’s genial manner and his suspiciousness, his sense of anyone beyond his home or country as a potential threat. I wondered, as we talked amid a sea of construction equipment, what it would take to build genuine warmth and concern for outsiders, rather than such walls.

Makes me not want to live here any more.

Glenn Youngkin attempts to ban critical race theory on day one as Virginia governor

Virginia’s newly elected Republican governor has immediately passed a swath of conservative orders – ranging from attempts to alter local school curriculums to loosening public health mandates during the pandemic – after being sworn into office on Saturday.

Glenn Youngkin, a former private equity CEO who has never served in public office before, became the state’s first Republican governor since 2010 after a closely watched gubernatorial election last year.

The 55 year-old placed the issue of critical race theory (CRT) at the centre of his campaign, capitalizing on a conservative backlash against the discipline and pledging to ban teaching of it in Virginia’s schools. Critical race theory is an academic practice that examines the ways in which racism operates in US laws and society.

On Saturday, after taking the oath of office, Youngkin unveiled a list of nine executive orders and two executive directives, with the first on the list described as a directive to “restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education”.

The order lists 13 instructions, many directed to the state’s school superintendent, who has been tasked with reviewing the state’s curriculum and policies within the department of education, to identify “inherently divisive concepts”. The order also bans an executive employee from “directing or otherwise compelling students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to inherently divisive concepts”.

As Virginia circles the drain.....
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