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Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,716

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

City officials threw me in jail to silence me. Years later, I'm still seeking justice.

Coming from a law enforcement family, I never had issues with police in my life – not even a traffic ticket. As the first Hispanic woman elected to the City Council of Castle Hills, Texas, and having lived here for 20 years, my campaign issue was fair treatment for everyone, not just the well-connected.

I was so happy when I won in 2019. Little did I know that soon after, crooked politicians and their friends would use the power of the government to violate my constitutional rights by removing me from office, and even throwing me in jail, because city officials didn’t like being criticized for doing bad work.

That's not the end of my story, however. Because of the obscure and immoral judge-created doctrine of qualified immunity, my efforts to enforce my First and 14th Amendment rightshave been thwarted by excessive delays.

During my campaign in 2019, I visited and spoke with residents in more than 500 households and listened to their frustrations and complaints about City Manager Ryan Rapelye.

After the election, a few people who were unhappy with the results circulated an online petition supporting Rapelye and got about 150 signatures. This upset people who had voted for me, and they began to ask us to circulate a petition to reflect their concerns.

Texass. Again.

'I fear we are failing': Some young people question adults' behavior during pandemic

As the United States has grappled with a deadly pandemic of historic proportions, young people have been watching.

Many were old enough to understand its challenges — yet too young to be making key decisions themselves. But they felt Covid-19’s impacts nevertheless as the country weighed central debates: virtual learning or in-person? Masks or no masks? Vaccination mandates or not?

And with another school year underway, young people are once again at the center of much of the conversation. While health experts promote school mask policies and an increase in vaccination rates to protect students who gather in classrooms, some governors have pushed back.

Many young people told CNN they felt helpless while others worried about their mental health. “This pandemic has brought me self-reflection and analysis, but it also was a test on the world and this country, and I fear we are failing,” said Ella Stromberg, a 17-year-old from Vancouver, Washington.

Young Americans may not have autonomy over how they attend school, if their families get vaccinated or the policies elected officials implement, but they are observing the victories and pitfalls of those who do.

During the recent Covid-19 surge leading into the school year, CNN asked Americans 16 and over what they’ve taken away from the pandemic thus far. Here’s what they had to say.


Kim Jong Un, 37, is noticeably thinner. A South Korean spy agency says he's healthy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has recently lost about 20 kilograms (44 pounds), but remains healthy and is trying to increase public loyalty to him in the face of worsening economic problems, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers Thursday.

The National Intelligence Service gave the assessment during a closed-door parliamentary briefing, saying it used artificial intelligence techniques, an analysis of super-resolution video of Kim and other methods to investigate Kim’s condition, said two lawmakers who attended the session.

Kim’s health has been a focus of keen outside attention in recent months because he has appeared noticeably thinner in state media photos and videos. Kim, 37, hasn’t publicly anointed a successor and some experts say an abrupt incapacitation could result in chaos in the impoverished nuclear-armed country.

Despite Kim's thinner appearance, longtime North Korea observers have said Kim has no apparent health problems and his weight loss is likely the result of his efforts to improve his physique. They noted that he has continued his regular public activities and no unusual developments have been seen in North Korean videos.

Gastric bypass was my first thought......

New Orleans shoeshine man wins legal battle over $30K seized by DEA agents

Kermit Warren, an out-of-work shoeshine man from New Orleans, was carrying nearly $30,000 in cash through the airport in Columbus, Ohio, last November when federal drug agents stopped him and began asking questions.

Warren was returning home with his life savings after the purchase of a truck fell through. He had a one-way plane ticket, no luggage and he gave some shaky answers about himself and the cash, leading the agents to suspect that it was drug money.

Warren wasn’t charged with a crime, but the agents seized all of his cash.

With his savings gone and the Covid pandemic depriving him of steady work, the longtime church deacon barely scraped by. He said he wasn’t even able to buy his seven grandchildren Christmas gifts.

“This last year has truly been a nightmare for me,” said Warren, 58.

But this week, he received good news: federal prosecutors agreed to return all of his money and dismiss the case, according to a settlement agreement signed Thursday and obtained by NBC News.

“It gives me a great amount of joy and peace,” Warren said. “What happened to me should never happen to anybody in this world.”


'Witches are icons': Americans embrace their family ties to Salem trial victims

What do Hollywood actor Humphrey Bogart, Senator Mitt Romney and half the US presidents have in common?

They are all alleged descendants of someone involved the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which an infamous outbreak of religious hysteria resulted in 19 early settlers hanged and one pressed to death.

Salem, Massachusetts, is America’s Halloweenville.

Every October thousands of tourists in costume flood the streets, buying “spell books” and snapping selfies in cemeteries.

Behind the shops, almost entirely divorced from the town’s main industry, lies the memorial with 20 stones carved with familiar names like John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse, who were immortalised in Arthur Miller’s 1953 “red scare” parable, The Crucible.

Alongside the tours, however, are a growing stream of visitors from as far as California paying their respects.

I once knew a Rebecca Nourse (they spelled it differently) who was a descendant of one of the Salem "witches" and she was very proud of her name and descent. She said there had always been a Rebecca in the family.

Getting dental coverage added to Medicare faces pushback from some dentists

William Stork needs a tooth out. That's what the 71-year-old retired truck driver's dentist told him during a recent checkup.

That kind of extraction requires an oral surgeon, which could cost him around $1,000 because, like most seniors, Stork does not have dental insurance, and Medicare won't cover his dental bills. Between Social Security and his pension from the Teamsters union, Stork says, he is able to live comfortably in Cedar Hill, Mo., about 30 miles southwest of St. Louis.

But that $1,000 cost is significant enough that he has decided to wait until the tooth absolutely must come out.

Stork's predicament is at the heart of a long-simmering rift within the dental profession that has reemerged as a battle over how to add dental coverage to Medicare, the public insurance program for people 65 and older — if a benefit can pass at all.


COVID's endgame: Scientists have a clue about where SARS-CoV-2 is headed

Back in the 1980s, scientists in the U.K. performed an experiment that — at first glance — sounds unethical. "Volunteers came into the lab and someone squirted virus up their nose," says computational biologist Jennie Lavine.

The researchers took a liquid packed with coronavirus particles and intentionally tried to make 15 volunteers sick.

Ten people got infected. The other five fought off the virus, says Lavine, who's now at the biotechnology company Karius but was at Emory University when she spoke to NPR.

Then the researchers waited a year and repeated the experiment. They wondered: Did getting sick with coronavirus the first time protect people from the second exposure a year later? Or could people get reinfected a year later?

Now this coronavirus injected up the volunteers' noses wasn't SARS-CoV-2, Lavine is quick to point out. "No. No. Nobody got very sick. I think they measured disease severity by how many tissue boxes a person used. The experiment was performed with all of the proper ethical considerations."

I hope they're right!

Animal Cruelty

In my volunteer work at the shelter, I occasionally see instances of animals confiscated by Animal Control or the police because of cruelty. Most of the time it's either not feeding them, hoarding situations, or sometimes physical injury, like one beautiful pit bull I remember who'd had chemicals poured one him (he was still the sweetest dog you can imagine). We recently got a cat who was surrendered (grudgingly) by an owner accompanied by Animal Control...in a carrier that was covered with bugs.

But nothing compares with the cat we just got. You may be familiar with Basement Cat? This poor feline was kept in a basement. The only human contact he had was when someone fed him. His eyes are sunken and semi-closed. He growls and hisses if anyone comes near. He rocks himself, perhaps as a self-soothing mechanism. The keeper of the stray hotel has found that if she dims the lights on that side he is calmer. She has hopes that she may be able to reach him, but it seems unlikely. (Her method, to begin, is to keep a washcloth inside her shirt for several hours and then put it in the kennel so the cat gets used to her scent.) We fear that this poor guy may be destined for euthanasia, but we're going to try kindness first. He may never have experienced that. Pray to Bastet for him.

The 'Crying Nazi' Dropped the N-Word During a White Nationalist Trial

Christopher Cantwell, a man known as “the Crying Nazi,” turned the opening statement portion of the Sines v. Kessler trial into a racist open-mic session, in which he dropped the n-word and plugged his podcast.

Cantwell and 19 other white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and their various organizations are accused of conspiring to incite racially motivated violence at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, four years ago which left one person dead and dozens injured.

They’re being sued in a massive civil case, brought by nonprofit Integrity First for America on behalf of nine survivors of that weekend,

Opening arguments for the case started Thursday with lawyers for the plaintiffs playing videos from that weekend featuring hundreds of white nationalists holding tiki torches as they marched across the University of Virginia’s campus chanting “Jews will not replace us.” The following day, Unite the Right rally goers flooded downtown Charlottesville, bringing with them shields, mace, and other weapons.

Lead attorney Karen Dunn also read aloud stomach-churning anti-semitic and racist statements made by the defendants online in the months and weeks running up to Unite the Right. “Our case is about the planning, execution and celebration of racially motivated violence,” Dunn told the jury. “Many of the defendants wanted to build a white ethnostate—a country only for white people. And that could only occur after a violent race war.”


An Ex-Staffer to Georgia's Lt. Gov. Just Got Charged With Impersonating Him

The former director of operations for Georgia’s No. 2 elected official allegedly impersonated her boss in emails to get information on her own divorce.

Beth Green, who worked for Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan from the beginning of his term in January 2019 until this July, turned herself in this week and was charged with computer trespassing, invasion of privacy, and impersonating a public employee—all felonies, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Green, 49, is accused by the Paulding County Sheriff of taking her state-issued computer out of the office this summer and using it to send seven emails pretending she was Duncan., According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she was allegedly trying to get information about her divorce out of her own attorney. Green’s husband filed for divorce in April and the separation was finalized in September, the Journal-Constitution reported.

The most serious charges, computer invasion of privacy and computer trespassing, each carry maximum sentences of up to 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Green was released on a $10,000 bond Monday.

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