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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

"The Liberty Way": How Liberty University Discourages and Dismisses Students' Reports of Sexual Assa

“The Liberty Way”: How Liberty University Discourages and Dismisses Students’ Reports of Sexual Assaults

When Elizabeth Axley first told Liberty University officials she had been raped, she was confident they’d do the right thing. After all, the evangelical Christian school invoked scripture to encourage students to report abuse.

“Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, for the rights of all who need an advocate. —Proverbs 31:8.” It was quoted in large type across an information sheet from the school’s office tasked with handling discrimination and abuse.

Axley was a first-year student at Liberty in the fall of 2017. She had been at the school less than three months. One Saturday night, she went to a Halloween party at an off-campus apartment and drank eight shots of vodka, along with a couple of mixed drinks. She doesn’t remember much after that, until, she recalls, waking up with a fellow student on top of her and his hand pressed over her mouth. (The student denies Axley’s allegations.)

After Axley returned to her dorm, she called the campus police department. One of the officers drove her to the local hospital, where, records show, a nurse documented 15 bruises, welts and lacerations on her arm, face and torso.

Axley wasn’t sure what to do next, but she did know that she wanted the man to “stay away from her,” as she recalled. So when Axley got back to her dorm that Sunday morning, she again told someone at Liberty, her resident adviser.

The RA, Axley said, told her not to report it, saying Axley could be found to have violated the school’s prohibition against drinking and fraternizing with the opposite sex.

I probably know more than I should about that place. I have a friend who was a paramedic with the local EMS.

What the giant James Webb telescope will see that Hubble can't

Astronomers like Christine Chen are thrilled about the looming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The $10 billion instrument, half the size of a 737 airplane and replete with gold-coated mirrors, will orbit 1 million miles from Earth and peer into places humanity hasn't seen before. This includes some of the first stars ever born, the most distant galaxies, and curious planets in the cosmos.

"It's really cool," marveled Chen, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, an organization that will run the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST.

The instrument's deeply-anticipated launch is currently set for Dec. 18, 2021, though in recent months the telescope has often been in the news for reasons unrelated to its scientific endeavors. NASA named the remarkable instrument after James Webb, NASA's leader in the 1960s who oversaw the agency during a time when the federal government persecuted and fired LGBTQ employees from NASA and other departments. It was a shameful time in American history called the "Lavender Scare." For now, NASA said it will keep the JWST label after finding no evidence about Webb that "warrants changing the name."

JWST, originally dubbed the "Next Generation Space Telescope" in the 1990s, will join the legendary Hubble Space Telescope in capturing clear views of the universe from space. Hubble is a scientific treasure. Over the three decades it's orbited 340 miles above Earth, Hubble has provided unprecedented, brilliant views of the cosmos, galaxies, and planets. Yet JWST is not a replacement for the aging Hubble. JWST is a successor, with different, and advanced, abilities.


Rats, mold, roaches: Howard students stage sit-in over housing conditions

Mold. Rats. Cockroaches. Mushrooms growing under the sink. For undergraduate students attending Howard University, a historically Black college in Washington, these and other conditions have prompted students to protest, staging a sit-in and sleeping at the university’s main student center for the past two weeks.

Organizing on social media apps like Instagram and TikTok under the #Blackburntakeover, as many as 150 students have been staging a sit-in at Howard’s Blackburn University Center, described as the “social hub of the university” by Howard.

Since 12 October they have protested what they describe as deplorable housing conditions, including mold on expired air filters, rat and cockroach infestations, and mushrooms blooming on dorm room ceilings and under sinks, despite on-campus housing costing upwards of $12,000 a year.

Students, chronicling the sit-in with the Instagram account “The Live Movement”, are also sleeping at the center in protest and say they will not leave until their demands are met.

VP Kamala Harris' alma mater has many monied alumni. Can't they do better?

Saudi crown prince a 'psychopath', says exiled intelligence officer

A former senior Saudi intelligence officer has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a “psychopath with no empathy” who once boasted that he could kill the kingdom’s ruler at the time, King Abdullah, and replace him with his own father.

In an interview on US television, Saad Aljabri, who fled Saudi Arabia in May 2017 and is living in exile in Canada, also said he had been warned by an associate in 2018, after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, that a Saudi hit team was heading to Canada to kill him.

Aljabri told 60 Minutes on CBS he was warned “don’t be in a proximity of any Saudi mission in Canada. Don’t go to the consulate. Don’t go to the embassy.” When he asked why, he said he was told “they dismembered the guy, they kill him. You are on the top of the list.”

Some details of the alleged murder plot, which were detailed in litigation in the US and Canada, have already been reported. But the 60 Minutes interview represents the first time Aljabri has publicly spoken about his break with Prince Mohammed.


50 years ago, The Electric Company used comedy to boost kids' reading skills

When The Electric Company debuted in October, 1971, television hadn't seen anything quite like it. Psychedelic graphics, wildly creative animation, mod outfits, over-the-top characters and sketch comedy all functioned to serve the same goal: teaching kids to read.

Brought to you by the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) – the same producers behind Sesame Street, which debuted in 1969 – The Electric Company won two Emmys, aired on more than 250 public TV stations and became a teaching tool in thousands of classrooms nationwide.

The show's cast included Academy Award winner Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby and a then unknown Morgan Freeman. Guest stars included Mel Brooks, Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Joan Rivers. The teen pop band Short Circus (get it?) included future star Irene Cara. The comedy writers were among the best in the business, and later went on to work on hit TV shows including MASH and Everybody Loves Raymond.

So, with all that going for it, why did The Electric Company run out of juice? The answer shines a light on the fate of many a public media endeavor where making money is as important as the mission statement.

My kids, even the ASD one, adored this show. My only complaint was that it came on and revved them up after Mr. Rogers calmed them down.

Trump Jr. Is Hawking Tacky 'Baldwin Kills People' T-Shirts

It’s only been three days since Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, but the Trump family has never been known to hang around when there’s a tawdry buck to make.

The oldest Trump son, Donald Jr., is hawking $27.99 T-shirts on his official site with the mocking slogan: “Guns don’t kill people, Alec Baldwin kills people.” On his Instagram stories, the Trump son also posted a photoshopped pic of the actor wearing one of the Ts.

It’s the latest and possibly most egregious example of Trumpworld’s celebration of Thursday’s fatal accident on the set of Rust. The alt-right has reveled in the shooting due to Baldwin’s previous mockery of ex-President Donald Trump and his advocacy for tighter controls on firearms.

Disgusting POS

Judge Says O'Keefe's Project Veritas Is 'Political Spying'

A federal judge has dealt conservative figure James O’Keefe a legal blow, ruling that his group’s undercover operations against a Democratic consulting firm can fairly be described at an upcoming million-dollar trial as “political spying.”

Making matters worse for the right-wing star, the judge cited O’Keefe’s own book as evidence against him.

In 2016, Allison Maass, an operative for O’Keefe’s Project Veritas group, took an internship at Democratic firm Democracy Partners under a fake name. While staffers at the firm thought Maass was working to elect Democrats in the 2016 campaign, she was secretly recording them and relaying undercover video and notes on the group to Project Veritas. Project Veritas eventually released the video, prompting Democracy Partners founder Robert Creamer to “step back” from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Creamer and Democracy Partners sued Project Veritas in 2017 over the sting. Now, with the trial set for December, O’Keefe’s lawyers wanted to preemptively prevent the plaintiffs’ lawyers from describing Project Veritas’s work in court as “political spying.”

In an Oct. 14 court opinion, though, U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman ruled that it’s reasonable to describe O’Keefe’s group’s actions in that way.

About damn time, I'd say!

The bumpy road to India's electric car dreams

India sold more electric vehicles in September than any month previously. Sales have been rising since April - the start of this financial year - and are already nearing the previous year's total.

It's a glimmer of hope for an industry that has been struggling with a global shortage in semiconductor chips, coming on the heels of a period of sluggish growth.

But it's only a glimmer. Electric vehicle sales - 121,900 this financial year - account for only 1.66% of India's 20 million automobile sales, according to the Delhi-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

Some electric vehicle firms, especially makers of two-wheelers, are betting big, but the demand is lukewarm for cars and commercial vehicles like lorries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is trying to change that with a $3.5bn (£2.5bn) scheme to boost manufacturing.

Electric vehicles will also cut emissions as pressure ratchets up for India, the world's third-largest carbon emitter, to set more ambitious climate goals ahead of the COP26 summit in November. The electric alternative is also growing in appeal as global oil prices surge, taking India's fuel import bill to a staggering $24.7bn.


Living with the world's oldest mummies

"It may seem strange for some people to live on top of a graveyard, but we're used to it," says Ana María Nieto, who lives in the Chilean port city of Arica.

Arica, on the border with Peru, is built on the sandy dunes of the Atacama desert, the driest desert in the world.

But long before the coastal town was founded in the 16th Century, this area was home to the Chinchorro people.

Their culture hit the news in July when the United Nations' cultural organisation, Unesco, added hundreds of mummies preserved by them to its World Heritage List.

The Chinchorro mummies were first documented in 1917 by German Archaeologist Max Uhle, who had found some of the preserved bodies on a beach. But it took decades of research to determine their age.

Radiocarbon dating eventually showed that the mummies were more than 7,000 years old - more than two millennia older than the more widely known Egyptian mummies.


Five things that shape Xi's view of the world

Heightened tensions with Taiwan have focused attention on China, with many wondering where President Xi Jinping sees his country on the world stage. Perhaps the past can provide some clues, writes Rana Mitter, a history professor at Oxford University.

China is now a global power, something scarcely imaginable just a few decades ago.

Its power sometimes stems from cooperation with the wider world, such as signing up to the Paris climate agreement.

Or sometimes it means competition with it, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, a network of construction projects in more than 60 countries which has brought investment to many parts of the world deprived of western loans.

Yet there is also a highly confrontational tone to much of China's global rhetoric.

Beijing condemns the US for seeking to "contain" China through the new AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) submarine pact, warns the UK that there would be "consequences" for granting residence in Britain to Hong Kongers leaving their city because of the harsh National Security Law, and told the island of Taiwan that it should prepare to be unified with the mainland.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has asserted China's place on the global stage much more strongly than any of his predecessors since Mao Zedong, China's paramount leader during the Cold War.

Yet other elements of his rhetoric draw on sources much more longstanding - looking back to its own history, both ancient and more recent.

Here are five of these recurring themes.

Long, but worth a read, and worthy of consideration
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