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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


2021 was a banner year for book challenges. Right wing groups organized protests across the country that claimed that porn was in school libraries — with “porn,” of course, being any LGBTQ book. It also brought new legislation and political posturing to “protect” white students from the “discomfort” of learning about racism, including in history. A Texas lawmaker made a list of 850 titles he wanted removed from the state’s school libraries, most of them LGBTQ, and at least one district pulled hundreds of books from the shelves for “review.”

One common response to this increase in censorship attempts is that nothing makes people want to read a book more than it being banned. Also known as the Streisand effect, the idea is that book bans will actually make those book more popular and sell more copies. It’s a comforting thought, but it’s misleading.

For one thing, in a list of 850 titles, no single book is getting a boost in popularity through word of mouth or media coverage: they all blend together. And in a seemingly never-ending wave of book challenges, it’s hard to think any of these titles are getting a lot of traction even if they do get news stories. The more books are challenged, and the more that the frequency makes these stories seem everyday, the less publicity those titles are getting.

More importantly, this effect would only work if people know the book is being banned or challenged. Harder to track is the kind of quiet self-censorship that leads librarians and teachers to leave books off syllabi and shelves because they fear being faced with the wrath of book banners. While the American Library Association and other groups keep track of formal book challenges, these quieter instances are impossible to record, and they can only take books away from readers.


Knoxville Planned Parenthood fire was set intentionally, investigators say

The fire that tore through Knoxville’s Planned Parenthood clinic on New Year's Eve was arson, fire department officials said Thursday, confirming the fears of health care workers and activists alike who thought the blaze was an act of hate.

No suspects are in custody, and the Knoxville Fire Department urged community members to share information that could help investigators by calling 800-762-3017 or emailing KFDArson@knoxvilletn.gov. People who provide tips can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $10,000 for information that leads to the prosecution of anyone responsible.

Planned Parenthood officials pledged to rebuild the facility, which is the organization's only branch in East Tennessee.

"We are heartbroken at the loss of our beautiful new building, but I'm here to tell you that we are committed to Knoxville and East Tennessee, and we are determined to rebuild. Knoxville wants Planned Parenthood, our patients need us to be here and we are going to be here," Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, said at a Thursday press conference at the site of the burned-down clinic.

Because of course it was, and nobody is surprised.

Crisis, what crisis? Florida Republicans deny Omicron is straining hospitals

While Florida has experienced a record number of Covid-19 cases and sharp increase in hospitalizations in recent weeks, there is disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over whether the Omicron surge has actually overwhelmed the state’s healthcare system.

For example, Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio posted on Twitter that there “is no Omicron hospital ‘surge’ in Florida. People admitted for non-Covid reasons get tested. If they test positive they get counted as a ‘Covid patient.’”

Infectious disease experts and Florida hospital leaders say that – while there is some validity to the assessment that data showing an increase in Covid hospitalizations and cases can in part be attributed to increased testing – the state’s hospitals still face potentially serious staffing shortages. One hospital in the state had to close its maternity ward because of a Covid outbreak among staff.

But in short, Florida has become a focal point of the often politicized debate over whether the Omicron variant is dangerous enough to overwhelm hospital systems and requires precautions taken earlier in the pandemic.

Dipshits down there are still getting Delta!

Seattle police faked Proud Boys threat during race protests, says watchdog

Seattle police exchanged detailed fake radio transmissions about a nonexistent group of menacing right-wing extremists at a crucial moment during the 2020 racial justice protests, an investigation by the city’s police watchdog group shows.

The radio chatter about members of the Proud Boys marching around downtown Seattle, some possibly carrying guns and then heading to confront protesters on Capitol Hill was an improper “ruse”, or dishonest ploy, that exacerbated a volatile situation, the Seattle Times reported. That’s according to findings released Wednesday by the city’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA).

The Proud Boys is a far-right extremist group with a reputation for street violence with several members, including one from a Seattle suburb, charged with terrorism over alleged actions related to the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

The ruse happened 8 June 2020, hours after the police department abandoned its East Precinct and as protesters were starting to set up the temporary zone that was later called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest or CHOP.

Raise your hand if you're surprised

Top GOP lawmaker attempted to pants referee during basketball game

A top Republican state lawmaker yelled at a game official and attempted to pull his pants down during a high school basketball match Tuesday night, an incident he later called "completely stupid" in a statement.

Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, acknowledged he was "bad wrong" and hoped to apologize to the official for losing his temper. The game was recorded live on Facebook by Johnson City's Providence Academy, which was hosting Lakeway Christian Academy.

"For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent loses their temper at a sporting event. It’s not Christian and it’s not mature and it’s embarrassing to the child have always been my thoughts," Faison, the state House Republican Caucus chair, wrote on his official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

"Unfortunately, I acted the fool tonight and lost my temper on a ref. I was wanting him to fight me. Totally lost my junk and got booted from the from the gym. I’ve never really lost my temper for all to see, but I did tonight and it was completely stupid of me. Emotions getting in the way of rational thoughts are never good. I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong."


Former Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham to meet with Jan. 6 committee

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is expected to meet with the House Jan. 6 committee Wednesday evening, the eve of the anniversary of the attack on the Capitol.

The meeting came about after Grisham and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the panel, spoke by phone about her knowledge of what happened inside the White House on the day of the riot. The news about the meeting was first reported by CNN.

Members of the committee have said they are trying to collect evidence about what exactly then-President Donald Trump was doing inside the White House as the attack on the Capitol unfolded.

Grisham has distanced herself from Trump’s orbit since Jan. 6, the day she resigned from the White House in response to the riot. She published a memoir in October titled “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House.”

Bet she will have some sh*t to spill

Penn Law rebukes professor who said U.S. would be 'better off with fewer Asians'

The dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School criticized comments by a professor at the school as "thoroughly anti-intellectual and racist" for suggesting that the United States is “better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration.”

The dean, Theodore Rugers, was responding to comments made by Amy Wax, a white law professor, in an interview last month.

“Once again, Amy Wax has, through her thoroughly anti-intellectual and racist comments denigrating Asian immigrants, underscored a fundamental tension around harmful speech at American universities,” Rugers wrote in a statement.

“Like all racist generalizations, Wax’s recent comments inflict harm by perpetuating stereotypes and placing differential burdens on Asian students, faculty, and staff to carry the weight of this vitriol and bias.”

No punishment has been announced.


George Floyd's niece, 4, shot on New Year's Day while sleeping in Houston apartment

George Floyd's 4-year-old niece was shot on New Year's Day as she slept in her bed, family members said. And the Houston Police Department has opened an internal probe into its "delayed response" to the shooting.

Several shots were fired into an apartment just before 3 a.m. on Saturday while four adults and two children were inside, police said in a statement Tuesday.

One of the children, identified by relatives as Arianna Delane, was struck in the torso, police said.

Family drove her to a hospital, where she underwent surgery, relatives said, adding that she is stable.

Other reports say there was a 4 hour delay in police/emergency response

Mayo Clinic fires 700 workers who failed to comply with Covid vaccine mandate

The Mayo Clinic is firing roughly 700 employees who failed to comply with the nonprofit medical center's mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy.

Workers at the Mayo Clinic had been given until Monday to get their first dose of a vaccine or obtain a medical or religious exemption to the rule. They were also expected not to delay on receiving a second dose if they had already gotten the first jab.

Hundreds of employees failed to meet those requirements and were let go, the Mayo Clinic said in a statement shared with NBC News on Wednesday.

"Nearly 99 percent of employees across all Mayo Clinic locations complied with Mayo’s required Covid-19 vaccination program by the Jan. 3 deadline," the clinic said of its staff, which consists of around 73,000 workers.

The Mayo Clinic said that approximately 1 percent of its staff, or around 700 people, would be "released from employment."


The GOP's masculinity panic

If you follow conservative politics, you know that the state of masculinity in America has been a hot topic this past year.

Republicans like Josh Hawley, a senator from Missouri and a star of the New Right, have made masculinity a signature issue. In a recent speech at the National Conservatism Conference, for example, Hawley argued that the progressive left is trying to “deconstruct” the American man. That’s quite a statement, and whether you agree with it or not, it’s crucial to grapple with its appeal and how it’s shaping our politics.

I reached out to David French, a senior editor at The Dispatch — a center-right publication that’s been critical of the Trumpist turn in conservatism — and now a contributing writer for the Atlantic, for the latest episode of Vox Conversations. French tracks conservative politics as closely as anyone, and recently wrote about what he calls “the cult of toughness” on the American right.

We discussed how Trump became the model of masculinity for Republicans, what exactly the right thinks the left is doing to the American man, and how the anger and response to that have helped pave the way for eruptions of political violence like the assault on the Capitol last January.

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