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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,463

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 beavers returning to the desert

Standing at the edge of a precipice, under a scorching sun in eastern Utah, you can see nothing but the state’s infamous red rocks and towering buttes for miles. No trees to offer welcome shade, the only vegetation being dry scrub that clings to the flat, dusty plains, while the sheer cliffsides are barren of life. But if you happen to glance down at the dizzying depths of the canyon that lies at the bottom of the desert sandstone mountains, you'd see a lush oasis, blooming with green vegetation, the Price River snaking through the rock even on the hottest of summer days. And if you scrambled down, and watched patiently for long enough, you might even spot some beavers – the very architects of this thriving wetland landscape, smack bang in the middle of the desert.

Getting these beaver populations to thrive in Utah's desert landscape has been a challenging task for Emma Doden, a masters student in translocated beaver ecology at Utah State University. Doden and several other researchers set out to reintroduce beavers to the drought and fire-stricken land. Water shortages are severe here, and much of the river ecosystem is degraded. Doden's primary goal is to restore the quantity and quality of water in eastern Utah, whose waterways sustain an array of wildlife, riverbank vegetation and endangered fish species.

"In desert environments, water can be very limiting, but it serves as the lifeline to so many species that live out there, including livestock," she says.

Water shortages in the region have been made worse by river degradation, caused by irrigation, pollution and mismanagement. Seeing the effects of this played a large part in Doden's drive to bring beavers back to Utah.


The colossal danger of hospital violence needs urgent care

The week between Christmas and New Year’s might be a lull in most workplaces, but not in hospitals. Overcrowding and understaffing are common, and that can have dangerous results. The very people charged with protecting the health of the public at large face an unsafe environment themselves.

Health care workers experienced five times more violence on the job in 2018 compared to the general population, federal statistics show. Covid-19 has only seemed to increase the amount of violence in health care settings, with regular reports of assaults and verbal abuse toward medical staff.

In Branson, Missouri, for instance, the assaults on nurses have become so frequent and severe — incidents of violence tripling in the last year — that a local medical center installed panic buttons to alert security personnel when a patient becomes unruly.

In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nearly 21,000 workers in private industry reported some form of violence while on the job; 70 percent were in health care and social assistance positions. Data going back to 1993 shows steady increases in the health sector over time.

In January, the nation's oldest accrediting body in health care, the Joint Commission, will begin mandating that hospitals institute workplace violence programs and reporting systems to maintain their highest standard of approval, which can be crucial to an institution obtaining sponsors and donors.

Take the cops out of schools and put them in hospitals. Just a thought.

'The Weak Better Buckle Up': Denver Gunman Left Online Trail

Lyndon McLeod, who police say killed five people during a deadly rampage in the Denver area, was an author dedicated to alt-right philosophies, including masculine supremacy, contrarian COVID-19 beliefs, and targeted violence against the “weak”—including those he killed.

McLeod appears to have operated a plethora of Twitter and Instagram accounts under the alias Roman McClay, which he used for his three-book series Sanction. The book series, with its first book described in an Amazon review as “eloquent reflections on dominance hierarchies, psychology, technology, nature, violence, anatomy and physiology, sexual morality, drug use, politics, and a whole mess of stuff,” follows a character named Lyndon McLeod, a persona named after its author who “commits 46 murders” in the book and one he seemed to allow to seep into his real life. The Denver Post reported Wednesday that McLeod named two of his five victims—Alicia Cardenas and Michael Swinyard—in his books and even described similar attacks.

The Daily Beast found that at least two Twitter users identified McLeod and McClay as one and the same months and even years before the shooting.

In his posts, McLeod seemed to frequently use excerpts from his work to comment on current events, such as a COVID misinformation meme on Twitter featuring Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The meme, posted on May 1 last year, featured the billionaires “discussing” their approach to the pandemic, with Gates being thanked for mandatory vaccinations while Zuckerberg was congratulated for an “injectable nanoworm.”

McLeod, who was killed by a Lakewood police officer Monday after shooting her in the abdomen, captioned the photo with a quote from one of his characters in his series: “It’s not really a worm so much, however I understand the point.”


Why one school district dropped 'Jingle Bells' from curriculum

Kevin McGowan, superintendent of Brighton Central Schools in Rochester, N.Y., posted a thoughtful letter (see below) on the district website about why his district is no longer teaching “Jingle Bells.”

“Jingle Bells,” as many people know, is one of the best-known American songs in the world, often associated with Christmas, though it has nothing to do with the holiday.

It was first published in 1857 — under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh” — by James Lord Pierpont, a songwriter born in Boston to an abolitionist family but who moved to Georgia and took up the Confederate cause. He served in a Confederate regiment and wrote songs including “Strike for the South,” as well as minstrel songs.

At a time when many school districts are moving toward being more inclusive and modern in their curriculum offerings, Brighton Schools decided recently to change some of the songs young children are taught. McGowan explains in the letter why “Jingle Bells” is one of the songs no longer being taught now, writing: “This wasn’t ‘liberalism gone amok’ or ‘cancel culture at its finest’ as some have suggested.

Merely idiocy run amok

Parents charged after 13-year-old shoots 5-year-old brother to death

The parents of a 5-year-old boy who was shot and killed by his older brother last month are now facing charges, CBS Pittsburgh reports. Thomas Wolfe and Sara Gerwig have been charged with endangering the welfare of children.

Police said their 13-year-old son got his hands on the couple's handgun at the family's home in the suburb of Penn Hills last month and shot his younger brother in the face.

Court documents say Wolfe admitted he left the gun on top of a gun safe and said the gun was always loaded with a live round in the chamber.

Gerwig said all four of their children were staying in a first floor bedroom because the electricity had stopped working on the second floor. The gun was on the first floor.

Police said they found multiple safes and trigger locks in the home, but none were being used.


Mayor says "city and police are responsible" after teen biker dies in traffic stop

The mayor of Boynton Beach, Florida, is speaking out about the death of a 13-year old boy on a dirt bike in an attempted traffic stop on Sunday. Police said the boy was driving the dirt bike recklessly when he "went down" on North Federal Highway.

Video obtained by CBS affiliate WPEC shows the boy, Stanley Davis Jr., pulling up at a nearby Chevron gas station shortly before the incident. He goes inside to pay, wearing his helmet. Then he rides away and a police vehicle follows him down the street.

Davis rides out of frame, then circles back, turning north, with the police vehicle close behind.

About three blocks later, Davis was dead.

The comment about the PD pursuit policy is, um. interesting. Cops ~SMDH~

Alex Murdaugh's wife left him all of her property in will before mysterious murder

Maggie Murdaugh, the wife of embattled South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, left her property to him in her will before she and their son were mysteriously killed in June, according to a copy of her last will and testament.

Alex Murdaugh, 53, has faced months of public scrutiny since his wife, 52, and son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found shot multiple times on June 7 at the family’s home in rural Islandton, South Carolina, about 65 miles west of Charleston.

Since then, Alex Murdaugh has been at the center of a storm of allegations -- including misusing money from his law firm -- that led to the suspension of his law license. He also enlisted a hitman to kill him so his surviving son, Buster, could cash in on his $10 million life insurance policy, one of his attorneys said.

The deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh remain unsolved.

Maggie Murdaugh signed the will in August 2005, according to a Sunday report in The Island Packet in South Carolina. The newspaper was the first to report on the document, which was later obtained by NBC News.

Tell me again how the sumbitch didn't do it....or have it done......

Invisible and unheard: how female veterans suffering trauma are let down by US healthcare

For Felicia Merkel, the PTSD trigger is any loud sound – an overhead speaker, a slammed car door – transporting her back to the blistering heat of Afghanistan. For Liz Hensel, it is looking into her daughter’s chestnut brown eyes, their color reminding her of those of a young Afghan girl named Medina, who lost her mother and leg at the trauma hospital in Kandahar. For Jen Burch, the intrusive memory is of the man who assaulted her before she deployed.

More than a decade has passed since these three women were deployed to Afghanistan. It’s now almost four months since the US military withdrew from Kabul on 30 August. Still, specific memories consume them. Three hundred thousand female veterans served in the 19-year war, and as media coverage dwindles and the nation slowly forgets, Felicia, Liz and Jen continue to remember.

Their experiences in Afghanistan differed from those of the male soldiers with whom they served. Now, their stateside lives do too. Being a woman in war comes with its own set of distinct traumas. While congressional legislation that has recently been proposed is welcome, essential bills are still being blocked that would help repair the suffering these women have endured for years.

Gender differences exist in trauma exposure. PTSD is twice as common in women than in men, according to a study conducted by Kathryn Magruder at the University of South Carolina.


Revealed: Ex-Teacher Hawks White-Nationalist Homeschooling

The School of the West, a recently launched online “educational resource for homeschooling parents,” offers a smattering of materials—some free, some only for paying members—to help teach kids standard subjects like math, science, and language arts. But its key selling point is a unique and deeply disturbing field of study that the site has dubbed “White Wellbeing.”

A write-up on the contents of an upcoming three-month live-streamed white wellbeing course, advertised for students ages four and older, explains that it will help children “understand the gift of being born a member of Westernkind and the qualities that separate us from the other races.” In case it wasn’t clear, the write-up later clarifies that “the White race is known as Westernkind.” It also promises to teach them how to spot and respond to the “anti-white propaganda” that supposedly suffuses modern life, why white people are the only true citizens of Western nations, and how “feminism destroys the family unit,” the supposed backbone of all Westernkind, “thus weakening our societies.”

This blatant white-nationalist ideology is infused into some of the site’s lessons on conventional subjects, as well. Its history materials, for example, falsely teach that the notion European colonization led to the spread of new diseases that decimated indigenous populations is not established historical fact, but an anti-white myth. The School also links to the Institute for Historical Review, as a “reliable online source for the study of history.” The IHR notoriously publishes materials that push for Holocaust denial and antisemitic readings of history, using the language and formatting of conventional academia, but none of its rigor. And the School’s life sciences materials are just a series of seven videos and attendant worksheets on the supposed science of human racial differences, which deliver a series of thoroughly debunked pseudoscientific arguments as if they were hard facts.

As if to underscore its focus on white-nationalist indoctrination, one video on the site even tells children that, in the face of a supposedly virulently anti-white culture, “it’s important to do your schoolwork, but it’s even more important to feel good about yourself and your own people.”


Trump Adviser Lays Out How He Planned to Overturn Biden Win

A former Trump White House official says he and right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon were actually behind the last-ditch coordinated effort by rogue Republicans in Congress to halt certification of the 2020 election results and keep President Donald Trump in power earlier this year, in a plan dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep.”

In his recently published memoir, Peter Navarro, then-President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, details how he stayed in close contact with Bannon as they put the Green Bay Sweep in motion with help from members of Congress loyal to the cause.

But in an interview last week with The Daily Beast, Navarro shed additional light on his role in the operation and their coordination with politicians like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“We spent a lot of time lining up over 100 congressmen, including some senators. It started out perfectly. At 1 p.m., Gosar and Cruz did exactly what was expected of them,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “It was a perfect plan. And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need any protestors, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it.”

That commitment appeared as Congress was certifying the 2020 Electoral College votes reflecting that Joe Biden beat Trump. Sen. Cruz signed off on Gosar’s official objection to counting Arizona’s electoral ballots, an effort that was supported by dozens of other Trump loyalists.

I did think it was kind of strange that the insurrectionists attacked about the time Gooser opened his mouth.......
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